Shiva Nazarahari is a journalist, blogger and award-winning human rights activist. Over the years, she has reported extensively on a number of social issues, such as child labour, the treatment of political prisoners, extreme poverty and women’s rights.
Her activism and reporting has been recognised with nominations and awards internationally, but have also lead to her imprisonment and persecution by the Iranian authorities on a number of occasions.
In an interview with a Slovenian daily on 6 March, she says that she is happy and relieved to be in Ljubljana, where she will stay and continue her work for the next two years. Pointing out the lack of democracy and human rights in Iran, but inspired by her new home's transition from a totalitarian regime to democracy, she says she has already found her peace and freedom in Ljubljana, she wishes to continue her professional development to be able to contribute to change in her home country.
On the occasion of the world's Women's rights day, Nazarahari says:
Today is 8th of March. This day reminds me of the efforts of Iranian women to achieve equal rights. It reminds me of the independent women's movement in Iran, which, despite all the hardship, is making its own path to equality. Although the path to equality is perhaps harder for us than other women in the world and slower, I'm confident that one day we can reach it. Although today's world is the world of inequality for all women, a day will come that our struggle makes the world a better place to live.
Shiva Nazarahari's prolific carreer and activism
Her articles have been published on prominent news websites such as Radio Zamaneh, she has contributed to the Student Committee for the Defence of Political Prisoners; and has published for the Committee for Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) of which she is a founding member.
Nazarahari started her peaceful activism and reporting on human rights violations at a young age, which lead to her imprisonment and persecution on a number of occasions. During one of her imprisonments she was a main case of PEN International and was featured in PEN’s 2012 Day of Imprisoned Writer campaign.
As a result of her reporting about the complex issues in Iran, Nazarahari’s work was recognised with nominations and awards, such as the 2013 Reporters Without Borders nomination for the Netizen Award; she was awarded the 2012 Theodor Haecker prize for Honesty and Political Courage on reporting about human rights violations, and the 2010 America Islamic Congress Award for the Advocate Behind Bars, which is given to imprisoned lawyers who are recognised as ‘prominent civil activists who have had extraordinary leadership power and have had a dramatic impact on society and are now unfairly imprisoned.’
Nazar Ahari has shown her commitment as a human rights activist by joining several organizations and working for them in some capacity. She was Director of the Student Committee for Defending Political Prisoners (2003-2005); Secretary and Spokeswoman for the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (2005-2012); and a member of the following organisations: Children of Work Defenders (2005-2014); the Committee for Rights to Education (defending the university students who were barred from education for their political activities - 2009); the Campaign for One Million Signatures (defending women’s civil and political rights 2006 onwards); the Womens Organization to Demand Equal Participation in Elections (2009 onwards); the Association for Women’s Citizenship (2016); and the Campaign for changing the gender ratio in the Iranian parliament (2016).
Shiva Nazarahari holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from Azad university. She was welcomed by Ljubljana, City of Refuge in October 2018.
Media coverage in Slovenia March 2019
Iranska novinarka šiva nazar ahari o življenju v Ljubljani
Iranska novinarka Šiva Nazar Ahari o življenju v Ljubljani: "Tu sem našla svoj mir in svobodo
Persecuted Iranian journalist finds refuge in Ljubljana
Iranska novinarka Nazar Aharijeva v Sloveniji našla svoj mir
"Zelo vesela sem in hvaležna, da ste me sprejeli. Tu sem našla svoj mir in svobodo"