Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obama Administration Cuts Off Funds to The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

The Obama Administration has stopped funding the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (http://www.iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/homepage.htm). They do exactly what you would expect from their name, document human rights violations in Iran. By most accounts, they do an exceptional job. Given the recent Iranian Revolution (GR88), their job seems more important then it has been in a long time. It is a time when you would think they should get more funds, not no funds.


"For the past five years, researchers in a modest office overlooking the New Haven green have carefully documented cases of assassination and torture of democracy activists in Iran. With more than $3 million in grants from the US State Department, they have pored over thousands of documents and Persian-language press reports and interviewed scores of witnesses and survivors to build dossiers on those they say are Iran’s most infamous human-rights abusers.

But just as the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center was ramping up to investigate abuses of protesters after this summer’s disputed presidential election, the group received word that - for the first time since it was formed - its federal funding request had been denied.

“If there is one time that I expected to get funding, this was it,’’ said Rene Redman, the group’s executive director, who had asked for $2.7 million in funding for the next two years. “I was sur prised, because the world was watching human rights violations right there on television.’’

Many see the sudden, unexplained cutoff of funding as a shift by the Obama administration away from high-profile democracy promotion in Iran, which had become a signature issue for President Bush. But the timing has alarmed some on Capitol Hill.

Via http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OTNmY2VlMDliMDFhZTk4ZjJmMTdhNmE4ZjkzMWIzMzg

"I've got to say, even for the Obama administration, this is a real shocker.

The Clinton State Department has decided to cut off all funding for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), which was compiling lists of protestors imprisoned in this summer's unrest, as well as those who were killed in the crackdown.

IHRDC is what human-rights advocates should be: methodical, precise, and apolitical in their work. And yet, the Obama administration has, without explanation, cut off all federal funding to the group which has consistently fulfilled its mandate.

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