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Zahra Rahimi

HRD, Executive Director

Zahra Rahimi is a woman human rights defender and the executive director at IAPSRS. She has worked in the NGO field with focus on children’s rights and women’s rights for the past 25 years. Since 2020, she is also a board member of the Iranian Network for the Protection of Children in Labour, which is an umbrella group of over thirty NGOs working in the field of protection of the most vulnerable children across Iran.


Hope for political reform in Iran surfaced when President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in 2013 and dozens of opposition political figures and human rights defenders were released. However, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and movement of HRDs continue to be prevalent.

Human rights defenders and journalists are arrested, detained and prosecuted in unfair trials. HRDs continue to receive death threats and are subjected to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention. They are refused bail or receive extreme bail conditions. HRDs are additionally subjected to systematic surveillance and their family members are targeted. Journalists have been subjected to flogging for criticising the government.