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Woman's body, a symbol of Political Changes in Contemporary Iran (in Persian)

A lecture by Mehrangiz Kar, from the panel discussion "Secularism and Gender in Iran of Today"

Mehrangiz Kar is presently Aga Khan Visiting Professors in Islamic Humanities at Brown, Pembroke Center. She is an Iranian attorney, scholar, and human/women’s rights activist.  She is author of numerous articles and books, including: Crossing the Red Line: The Struggle for Human Rights in Iran (Mazda Publishers, 2007), Kar has been actively promoting democracy, rule of law, and human rights within the framework of Islamic law of the Islamic Republic of Iran since the revolution in 1979. Along her role as an active public defender in Iran's civil and criminal courts, Ms. Kar published regularly in several influential and independent Iranian journals. Since the government banning of her publishing and making public appearances within her country, she has used international forums to voice her opinions and advocate democracy and human rights for Iran. In April of 2000, following her participation in a symposium in Berlin, Kar was arrested and imprisoned on several charges, including “acting against national security” and “spreading propaganda against the regime of the Islamic Republic.” Kar was to be additionally tried on charges of “violating the Islamic dress code at the Berlin Conference,” “denying the commands of the shari‘a,” and abusing sacred principles. Three of the five charges against her are pending, for which she may again be arrested upon her return to Iran. Ms. Kar has been recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the Ludovic Trarieux Prize in 2002, the Human Right First award in 2004, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Woodrow Wilson Center, Harvard University, American University, University of Virginia, and Columbia University. Kar has also been recognized as a Scholar at Risk through an international network of universities and colleges working to promote academic freedom and defend the human rights of scholars worldwide.

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