Iranian Activist Honored for Rights Work
(New York, November 9, 2010) –
Sussan Tahmasebi, a women’s rights and civil society activist, will receive the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism in November 2010 for her work to promote civil society and women’s rights in Iran.
Tahmasebi is a founding member of the award-winning One Million Signatures Campaign, which collects the signatures of Iranians who support ending the bias against women under Iranian law. She has also worked to strengthen civil society organizations by providing training and by serving as an advocate both within Iran and internationally. As a result of her work in Iran, Tahmasebi was arrested and interrogated, her home was searched, and she was barred from traveling abroad for more than two years. Now living in the United States, she continues to work to improve the situation for civil society and women’s rights activists in Iran.
“For more than a decade, Sussan Tahmasebi has worked to empower Iranians, particularly women, and has pressed for change through grass roots participation and reform of the country’s discriminatory laws,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Sussan Tahmasebi embodies the patience, persistence, and resilience of an Iranian civil society that continues its march toward recognition and equal rights for women despite numerous roadblocks.”
The Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives at risk to protect human dignity and create a world where people live free of violence, discrimination, and oppression. Human Rights Watch honors Tahmasebi for her dedication to promoting civil society and striving to make women’s rights a national priority in Iran.
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