26. Purple Coach Conversations' interview with Mahsa Alimardani, Internet Senior Researcher working on digital rights in the MENA region.
Mahsa Alimardani is an internet researcher focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region with a specialization in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
She has worked on matters related to human rights, technology, and freedom of expression online for over a decade within civil society and academia. She is currently a senior researcher with the international human rights organization, ARTICLE19, working on digital rights in the MENA region.
She’s also a DPhil candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and has previously served as a Senior Information Controls Fellow for the Open Technology Fund at the University of Oxford.
Her writing and analysis on technology and freedom of expression in Iran are regularly featured in academic journals as well as media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Slate.
In this fantastic interview, we talk about:
Her experiences of seeing what is happening in Iran as a Persian living in London, and how and why she felt so compelled to contribute to this liberating movement.
She openly shares about her own upbringing and though she considers herself privileged given her connections outside of Iran, she still remains attached and connected to the country.
Her involvement and work in and outside of Iran, and especially how all the amazing other people that she's worked with contribute to significant changes in the human rights of the people of Iran. She shares fascinating insights that are probably new to many people who are not connected or involved with the level of injustice, murder, and sexual assaults that happen in the country on an ongoing basis. Her experiences and stories around the 'Iran Tribunal' are an inspirational eye-opener, to say the least!
We talk about how the role of the internet and technology has enabled the spread of information and the fight for human rights at a global level. It has also helped suppressed people be able to get their messages out more. Unfortunately though, as you will hear in the interview, the people living in Iran still have significant struggles getting their messages out of the country.
How women are uniting and forming coalitions for advocacy work, (please see the links below for all references).
Some of her outstanding achievements, include her work with Facebook (META) and other technology companies to stop the censorship of certain taglines and words, as they were censoring videos of Iranian protests in Iran. This policy change has had a huge knock-on effect!
How she kept the motivation to carry on despite the fact that it is very easy to lose hope sometimes.
There is a strong message and call for solidarity from everyone across the Globe to come together and stand against the inhuman practices being experienced by the people of Iran in the country, especially towards women. Just as there was a unified call around Black Lives Matter, she calls for a unified call of accountability and justice for the people of Iran. This a message Tania and Anne highly support!
Please follow Mahsa and support her in her cause, as well as all the wonderful people she has shared her journey with - links below!
Mahsa kindly asked that only the voice recording was available publicly for this episode. Please listen to the audio version of our interview here:
Connect with Mahsa Alimardani on social media: