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Renowned Human Rights Expert to Deliver Talk at Trent University February 8


Dr. Payam Akhavan to Address Human Rights Issues in Iran

Thursday, February 2, 2006, Peterborough

Trent University is pleased to announce that Dr. Payam Akhavan, a renowned human rights expert, will be delivering a free, public lecture on the topic of Human Rights in Iran on Wednesday, February 8 at 7:00 p.m. in the First Peoples' House of Learning Lecture Hall at Gzowski College, Symons Campus.

The lecture, entitled "Human Rights in Iran: Political Islam, Abuses of Power and the Myth of Cultural Authenticity", will address the role of international human rights standards in Iran, a country where authorities justify human rights abuses on the grounds of religious or cultural authenticity. His lecture will also examine the use of interpretations of Islamic law by elites in order to pursue an agenda of political homogenization. The objective of the talk will be to explore the opportunities for meaningful dialogue among civilizations that transcends both ethnocentric and politically correct views of the Islamic world.

Dr. Akhavan (LL.M., J.D. Harvard) has served as the Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor's Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague (1994-2000), the first person to hold that position.  He has also served as Special Advisor to the United Nations in Cambodia, Guatemala, East Timor, and Rwanda, and has represented sovereigns before international courts and tribunal.

Currently, Dr. Akhavan holds the Maxwell Boulton Q.C. Senior Fellowship at McGill University Faculty of Law in Montréal, Canada. He is the President and Co-Founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre in New Haven, Connecticut, and he has been called upon as an expert by the media in Canada, the United States, and Britain to comment on issues related to genocide and human rights.

The lecture is free and all members of the community are welcome to attend. A reception with refreshments will follow the lecture, which is sponsored by the Association for Baha'i Studies and the Departments of Politics, Philosophy, and International Development Studies.


For more information, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Akhavan, please contact:
The Association for Baha'i Studies at abs@trentu.ca  or Geoff Cameron at 749-2360





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