WHO WE ARE

United for Iran is an independent nonprofit based in the San Francisco Bay Area working for civil liberties in Iran. We achieve our mission by improving human rights conditions, increasing the capacity of civil society, and engaging citizens through technology. We envision an Iran where the liberties and human rights of every citizen are honored. An Iran where ordinary citizens are empowered and engaged in public affairs. An Iran that is vibrant, open, and democratic. We believe that defending human rights is the responsibility of us all, and everyone has a role to play.

WHAT WE DO
Citizen Engagement Through Technology
We build technologies.
As Iranians gain access to new technologies, we create opportunities to break the walls of censorship, isolation, and oppression. We focus on mobile applications that are secure, simple, and robust that allow people in country to organize, to communicate, and to raise their voices.
Iran Prison Atlas
We maintain an atlas of Iran’s political prisoners, prison systems, and judges.
The atlas, with its 2000+ records, shines a bright light on Iran’s judiciary system by making sure that every time a courtroom is used to take the life or the liberty of someone who simply spoke out in defense of Iranian citizens, the world will know.
Campaigns
We run campaigns that raise public awareness.
Our campaigns lead to direct pressure on the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) to spare lives, release prisoners, stop prosecutions of people who post something on Facebook, show up at a rally, or otherwise exercise their right to have a voice in the country they love.
Civil Society Support
We support the movement inside Iran.
The thousands of people who are willing to risk their freedom need support from the outside. Our network of activists, organizations, and supporters worldwide collects and shares best practices and strategies from activists around the world, providing strategic and organizational support to people inside the country.

OUR TEAM

Our team of 10 includes campaigners, do-good technologists, and researchers primarily based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We also work with dozens of consultants and volunteers from around the world.

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OUR STORY

2009 Global Day of Action

Heavy-hearted by violence in the aftermath of the Iranian presidential elections, United for Iran founder Firuzeh Mahmoudi organized a global rally to draw attention to the tragedy unfolding in Iran. On July 25, 2009, tens of thousands of people in 110 cities around the world take to the streets in support of Iranian citizens and their quest for rights.What began as an idea turned into history’s biggest day of global solidarity for the people of Iran. United for Iran evolves from a commitment to build on this day.

2009

2010 Political Prisoners Awareness Day

United for Iran launches a campaign to highlight cases of 50 political prisoners. People in 90 cities around the world “adopt” political prisoners, organize rallies, speak to the media and lead their own petition and postcard campaigns. Thousands of new people are engaged in support of Iranian political prisoners.

2010

2011 Azadi Music

Azadi: Songs of Freedom for Iran is released featuring musical tributes to Iranian citizens from artists all over the world. The artists speak from direct experience with oppression and resistance, addressing Iran’s current conditions, imprisonment, and the Arab Spring.

2011

2012 Collaboration with United Nations

United for Iran’s Puyan Mahmoudian speaks at the 21st session of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council. United for Iran maintains close ties with the United Nations and other international organizations and human rights bodies. United for Iran’s Iran Prison Atlas is quoted extensively by UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Ahmed Shaheed.

2012

2013 Zahra Runs for President

United for Iran joins forces with the author of the New York Times bestselling graphic novel Zahra’s Paradise to nominate Zahra –– a fictional mourning mother whose son was killed by authorities in 2009 –– as a 2013 presidential candidate. Zahra’s campaign focuses on human rights, receives wide media coverage and has grassroots supporters from over 20 countries. Islamic Republic media disavows Zahra’s campaign, calling United for Iran’s Director Firuzeh Mahmoudi an “anti-revolutionary fugitive.”

2013

2015 Campaign to Free Bahareh

Advocating the release of political prisoners is central to our vision of an Iran that honors the human rights of every citizen. In 2015, United for Iran helped organize a campaign to free imprisoned student and women's rights activist Bahareh Hedayat. To date, the petition has received over 129,000 signatures on change.org.

2015

2015 Safe Activism launches

United for Iran partners with 30 former Iranian political prisoners and activists to produce the Safe Activism booklet — a guide for Iranian political and civic activists to prevent or mitigate the impacts of arrest and imprisonment.

2015

2016 A More Comprehensive Iran Prison Atlas

United for Iran maintains a comprehensive and up-to-date record of Iranian political prisoners. In 2016, we expanded the Iran Prison Atlas to include related Iranian prisons and judges. In total, the Iran Prison Atlas includes over 2,000 records, shining a bright light on Iran’s judiciary system by making sure that every time a courtroom is used to take the life or the liberty of someone who simply exercised their basic rights, the injustice is documented for the world to know.

2016

2016 IranCubator: Putting Technology to Good Use

United for Iran’s most ambitious project to date, IranCubator, is an app incubation project which is developing about one dozen social-good apps for Iran’s 40 million smartphone users. In 2016, IranCubator created a framework for Iran’s civic tech sector by connecting skilled app developers with civil society leaders to create a suite of social-good apps for the people of Iran. Our goal is that 250,000 people will be using IranCubator apps by the end of 2017.

2016'

2017 Prisoners’ Health Campaign

Iran has hundreds of political prisoners. Iranian authorities routinely deny these men and women adequate nutrition and proper medical care. In 2017, we joined Atena Daemi and asked Asqar Jahangir, the head of Iran’s State Prison Organization, to fulfill his legal and moral obligation and provide prisoners with proper medical care. Over 70 thousand of you supported Atena’s call.

2017
THE BOARD

Our Board of Directors provides strategic, programmatic, and financial oversight ensuring United for Iran is healthy, transparent, and responsible. Community Advisory Board members help us think through our challenges and strategies and expand our network. Both boards also play a lead role in fundraising plans and activities.

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In the media

The Woman Building Iran’s Civic Tech Sector (From Across The World)

This is the story of Firuzeh Mahmoudi, founder of United4Iran and IranCubator, the first civic tech-focused startup incubator in Iran. She is also a creator of civil justice apps and a businessperson. Her business? Creating social good in a country she loves. “Our mission is to improve civil liberties in Iran, and we do that in three ways,” says Mahmoudi, 45, who spent four years working for the United Nations in countries across the world as an international project coordinator before becoming a founder.  Read the full article in Forbes.

 

This App Lets Iranians Swipe Past Political Propaganda

“In Iran, apps have become a kind of loophole in the government’s censorship policies. “Iran is like a 20th century dictatorship working in the 21st century,” Bahari says. “They know how to shut down newspapers and interfere with shortwave radio, but when it comes to digital technology they don’t know what to do.” Read more here.

A Pirate Podcast App Takes on Iran’s Hardline Censors

Today Ghazinouri and his fellow activists and coders at the Berkeley-based, Iran-focused app developer IranCubator will launch RadiTo, an audio app for Android uniquely suited to the conditions of the country’s internet. It navigates slow, expensive data connections, users who speak a variety of languages and dialects ignored by most podcast distributors, and trickiest of all, a draconian digital censorship regime. Read the full article at Wired.

This Trojan Horse App Sneaks Vital Info To Women In Iran

Under the guise of a simple period-tracking app, Hamdam, which launched in Iran this weekend, will feature information about taboo subjects like STDs, contraception, domestic violence, and marriage contracts. Read the full article at BuzzFeed.

We have to stop nuclear negotiations from overshadowing Iran’s human rights record

With progress being made in the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, it’s time for a new conversation about Iran – one about the country’s dismal human rights record.  See the original article in the Guardian here. Written by Firuzeh Mahmoudi and Mahdieh Javid.

A Female President of Iran?

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour covers United for Iran’s Vote for Zahra campaign.

Watch here.

Iranian Women Won More Than A Medal At The Olympics

“…Darya Safai, a Belgium-Iranian woman, joined that fabled Olympic tradition of protest and barrier breaking. At the Iran versus Egypt men’s volleyball match in Rio, Safai held a sign reading: “Let Iranian women enter their stadiums,” protesting the Iranian government’s refusal to grant women access to soccer and volleyball matches in Iran.” Read the full article here.

PARTNERS
The positive change we seek is only as strong and lasting as the network we build along the way. Below are our partners – organizations we work with to campaign, research, and build technology. Most importantly, we provide moral support for each other and our community as we work for big change.
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