Welcome Hossein Raeesi, the first Scholar at Risk at uOttawa!

Hossein Raeesi

The University of Ottawa and Carleton University are delighted to welcome the first Scholar at Risk, Mr. Hossein Raeesi. Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of higher education institutions dedicated to protecting threatened scholars, preventing attacks on higher education communities and promoting academic freedom worldwide. The network protects scholars suffering grave threats to their lives, liberty and well-being by arranging positions of sanctuary at institutions in the network. uOttawa and Carleton University joined SAR in 2014.

Hossein Raeesi practiced law in Shiraz, Iran for 20 years and served as a two-term board member of the Fars Province Bar Association and was the founder and former head of the Human Rights Committee of the Far Province Bar Association for eight years. He is also the founder of Neday-e Edalat (The Voice of Justice) Legal Association in Shiraz. In his professional practice, Mr. Raeesi has defended as a pro bono attorney political prisoners, journalists, women and children who were sentenced to the death penalty.

In 2012, Mr. Raeesi relocated to Canada to escape undue pressure from the Iranian Government. Since then, he has been collaborating with human rights organizations in several countries regarding various issues, including: Sharia law and human rights; the death penalty in Islamic legal systems; domestic violence; and global networks dedicated to protecting children. Amongst his publications are: two manuals on “Children’s Rights” and “Justice for Children”; “Lawyer in the Death Penalty Cases”; a chapter "On the Death Penalty in Iran" in a book published by Ensemble contre la peine de mort – ECPM, France (2014); "Same-Sex in Revised Iranian Code of Criminal Procedure", a chapter in the book, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender in Iran, Analysis from Religious, Social, Legal and Cultural Perspectives, published by LGLHRC, New York (2015); and many articles on topics such as LGBT, Sharia law and apostasy. In addition, Mr. Raeesi participated in research projects at the State University of New York and at Northwestern University School of Law on issues of the death penalty around the world.

Mr. Raeesi will spend one year as a Scholar at Risk with the University of Ottawa and Carleton University and will be housed at the Human Rights Research and Education Centre (Fauteux Hall, 5th floor). During this time, he will teach Human Rights, Sharia Law and the Islamic Legal System at the Department of Legal Studies at Carleton. He will also engage with academics and graduate students working in topics related to his legal practice, and participate as a guest lecturer in scholarly events.

For more information about Scholars at Risk at the University of Ottawa and upcoming events, please contact scholarsatrisk@uottawa.ca or visit the Human Rights Research and Education Centre's Website. Donations to the Scholars at Risk Program can be done through this uOttawa Portal.

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