The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF) is a non-governmental non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democracy in Iran.
The Foundation is an independent organization with no political affiliation. It is named in memory of Dr Abdorrahman Boroumand, an Iranian lawyer and pro-democracy activist who was assassinated allegedly by the agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Paris on April 18, 1991. The Foundation believes that promoting human rights awareness through education and the dissemination of information is a necessary prerequisite for the establishment of a stable democracy in Iran.
The Foundation is committed to the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and in other internationally recognized human rights instruments. Taking as a starting point the fundamental equality of all human beings, the Foundation seeks to ensure that human rights in Iran are promoted and protected without discrimination, whether it be on the basis of one's gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin. Guided by the belief that unremedied human rights violations are a major obstacle to the establishment of a stable democracy, the Foundation is committed to the right of all victims of human rights abuses to justice and public recognition.
Based on the foregoing principles, the Foundation adopts as its mandate the promotion of public awareness of issues concerning democracy and human rights in Iran. Through its programs of research, documentation, publications, and outreach, the Foundation hopes to help restore the dignity of Iran's countless victims of human rights violations.
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation’s work is enabled through the generous support of a diverse array of public and private funders – from charitable foundations to individual donors. The Foundation receives approximately 66% of its support from private North American and European foundations, 26% of its support from European and North American public funding, individual donors provide 7%, and rental income 1% of ABF funding.
Who They Are
The Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF) started in 2002 with a small budget and two volunteers in a home office in Washington, DC. ABF relied on very valuable friends and volunteers who donated their time, technology, and money to help the development and growth of the organization. In its first ten years, ABF expanded its staff to include Iranians of diverse backgrounds, religion, ethnicity and political views as well as non-Iranians.
The diversity of the staff is not only reflective of the diversity of the population whose rights are violated in Iran, but it is necessary to meet the organization’s goals in a country where persecution and censorship prevent the circulation of information and isolate vulnerable communities.
What They Do
Their goal is to prepare for a peaceful and democratic transition in Iran and build a more just future in which citizens’ rights are respected and mass killings and crimes against humanity belong in the history books. The absence of transition does not justify inaction. In fact, transitions may not always allow time for reflection or preparation.
To achieve their goal, they have to confront and understand the past, draw attention to patterns of human rights violations, trigger reflection on human rights and democracy, influence the national discourse and engage victims and other citizens in a common endeavor, that is truth telling.
For ABF, every executed victim counts and staff are encouraged to work on groups of victims other than those they belong to or are familiar with. This all-inclusive perspective and work ethic ensures objectivity and lack of bias toward any particular victim group – a hallmark of ABF’s documentation work.
To do so they :
Document methodically and as objectively as they can every single execution and assassination and publish stories in Farsi and English with a focus on the right to life and the right to due process of law.
Engage victims of human rights violations to tell their story as a first step to healing, echo their voices, and draw attention to impunity.
Help Iranians remember their history and strengthen their will to confront the past.
Promote human rights based values through translations of theoretical and practical tools, reports and advocacy.
Some of their key achievements in the last ten years:
Established ourselves as a credible and reliable human rights group and gained broad-based support among diverse groups of Iranians and non-Iranian victims
Documented thousands of names and hundreds of stories in two languages in their database Omid
and accessible on their website
Interviewed victims, and transcribed and translated scores of testimonies.
Researched and published groundbreaking reports and expert opinion on human rights issues not covered by the mainstream press, such as The Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran, 1988, Report of an Inquiry
and Neither Free Nor Fair, Elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Translated tens of human rights reports of other national and international organizations.
Created and maintain the most comprehensive Farsi-English electronic archives of books, articles, memoirs, letters, documents, and information that shed light on the violation of human rights and furthers the knowledge, understanding, dissemination, and implementation of human rights and democracy in Iran.
Maintain a unique and extensive database of thousands floggings sentences issued in Iran.