Help Stop Restrictions on Freedom of Assembly & Association in Iran

We are calling for your support in demanding that all human rights defenders, including but not limited to Nasrin Sotoudeh, Narges Mohammadi, Farhad Meysami, Esmail Bekhshi, Sepide Gholian, be immediately and unconditionally released, with all charges against them dropped. With parliamentary elections planned for February 2020, and Iran under Universal Periodic Review in November 2019, now is the time to call for authorities to protect and uphold the rights to Freedom of Assembly and Association according to international best practice.

Iranian civic space is shrinking at an unprecedented pace – even for Iranian standards – as authorities in Iran increasingly suppress independent civic action heavily and unlawfully. In the past year, Iran has seen the unparalleled rise of peaceful social protests and civic dissent despite a violent, authoritarian regime. The last two years have seen an alarming number of arrests and detention of civil society activists across a broad spectrum of environmental issues, human rights defenders, teachers’ and labor unionists, students and women’s rights.

To this end CIVICUS, as a global alliance of civil society around the world, and Volunteer Activists Institute, an NGO focusing on democracy, human rights, and peace building in the MENA region and specifically Iran, have launched a global campaign to hold the Iranian government accountable for its stark violations of the rights to freedom of association and peaceful assembly in the country. Stand with Volunteer Activists Institute and CIVICUS members in solidarity and call for change to restrictions on civic space from the government of Iran ahead of elections in 2020.

Here is how you can support this campaign:

1. Sign the petition

Sign the petition in your individual capacity here and share it with partners in your networks.

2. Sign the open letter. 

Have your organisation sign onto the open letter. calling the government of Iran to create and maintain an enabling environment for Iranian civil society activists and organizations.

3. Tweet to Iranian President:

“@President_Iran, drop all charges against countless Iranian #HRDs who have had their rights to Freedom of Assembly and Association violated. We stand with them and call on you to #FreeIranianActivists and protect #FoAAinIran.”

Under Attack: Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) Around the World

This map profiles 20 HRDs who are currently in jail or facing judicial persecution for promoting human rights. Read more about who they are and support their campaigns. We welcome you to share details of other activists we have not included by emailing us: .