Jadi at inside Iran has two posts relating to his work in NGO’s:
Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are merely a new concept in Iran…after the 1977 revolution, our government change to an Islamic Republic one which acts like an Totalitarian regime. It controls all the media, own all the TV and Radio stations. Controls all the Internet providers and dictates to the newspapers what to write and what not to write…it tries to control every aspect of life in Iran.
In this atmosphere, NGOs started to evolve. NGOs were the only place in which people could gather and do something…from holding computer workshops, talking about human rights abuses up to documenting torture inside the country.
So it is understandable that government started to react. At first it started his own “NGO”s which are better to be called a gNGO; Governmental NonGovernmental Orgs. One good example of these fake NGOs are the Organization For Defending Victims of Violence; ODVV (Their site is http://www.odvv.org/statements/statements.asp but I did not make this one clickable so they will not know that I’ve wrote about them. It is VERY risky. The site is english and I linked the statements part.) With all of their luxury magazines, seminars, buildings and money, they have never told anything about the brutal violence which is happening in Iran. They only condemn Lebanon, Israel, Russian School attacks and even on the case of Saddam.
“As a nongovernmental organization which was originally established to help the victims of Iraq’s enforced war against Iran, the ODVV welcomes the sentence, and as the rest of the Iranian nation, calls for Saddam to be tried for the crimes that he committed against Iran.”
It closes its eyes on a CAPITAL PUNISHMENT and claims to talk on behalf of the “rest of the Iranian nation”. This gNGO always participates in international meetings and saya “We are an NGO and we are watch dogging violence in Iran and we ensure you that everything is GOOD” 🙂
So at first the government tried to start many fake NGOs (i.e. gNGOs) and put pressure on the real ones not to participate at International events and not to publish anything or start any website. They did not success so they changed their attitude by shutting down NGOs, arresting activists and sentencing them to long prisons and threaten others not to participate any event.
NGOs were our hopes for some years and we try to continue our activities in them. The government is also make more and more pressure on us and this is very dangerous. NGOs are kind of moderators. They make you go slower and more “internal” (accepting the situation, rules and even pressures to be able to continue). When they crack down the NGOs, younger people do not have any place to actively pursue what they want so they might commit violence, they might act radically, they might… . In the NGOs we were not politicals, we were not trying to access political power. After the crack down, people do not have any place to participation in their society as a CIVILIAN; this can lead them in the wrong direction.
Read the unexpurgated post at inside Iran. Then his second post is about his NGO work in Kabul:
I was in Afghanistan / Kabul for two weeks. I was training two NGOs to start their websites. Unfortunately both are in Persian.
This was my second time in Kabul. It is a nice city with friendly people. The main problems there are not being clean and not being safe. Everyday the are some killings in the news and you read about how “some people” killed “some other”. While I was there, 3 newspaper reporters where murdered and more than 20 polices. One day one of trainees did not attended the class. When I asked him the day after he said: “One of my relatives were killed during a conflict with Taliban; he was a policeman”.
One good point there is the freedom of expression 🙂 Although it is dangerous but legally you have the right to speak out your idea. This might be only available during the “honeymoon” of the country and it seems the government is trying to decrease it because of national security.
I met many people there. I went to Afghan PEN sessions, met politicians and people from newspapers and media. This was good. Most of the people were not with the Karzai and told me that he is not doing well.
And when he returned another arrest:
Oh and as soon as I have returned back to Iran, Police have arrested one another activist! Again an active woman from “1 million campaign”. This time Ehteram Shadfar. A 62 years old woman is in the prison because of … nobody knows.