Prospects for Democracy in Iran: Assessing the Regime and the Opposition - Legislation and Democracy in Iran, a presentation by Iranian activist Mehrangiz Kar and chaired by Michael McFaul.
Mehrangiz Kar is a visiting fellow at the Human Rights Program at the Harvard Law School and at the Newhouse Center for Humanities at Wellesley College. In addition, Ms. Kar is an attorney, writer and activist working toward the promotion of democracy, and the rule of law and human rights within the framework of Islamic law in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Despite her efforts being frequently impeded and curtailed by the intelligence services of the Islamic Republic, she has been an active public defender in Iran's civil and criminal courts, and has published regularly in several influential and independent Iranian journals.
Banned from making public appearances within her country, including conferences, radio and television, Ms. Kar has used international forums as a platform for voicing her opinions and advocating for the democratic, political, legal, constitutional and human rights of the Iranian people. In April of 2000, following her participation in a symposium in Berlin, she was arrested and imprisoned on charges of acting against the national security of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Three of the five charges against her are pending, for which she may again be arrested upon her return.
Michael A. McFaul is Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and associate professor of political science at Stanford University.
Before joining the Stanford faculty in 1995, he worked for two years as a senior associate in residence at the Carnegie Moscow Center. McFaul is also research associate at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, both at Stanford, and senior advisor to the National Democratic Institute.
He serves on the board of directors of the Eurasia Foundation, Firebird Fund, International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy, Institute of Social and Political Studies, Center for Civil Society International, and Institute for Corporate Governance and Law; the steering committee for the Europe and Eurasia division of Human Rights Watch, and the editorial boards of Current History, Journal of Democracy, Demokratizatsiya, and Perspectives on European Politics and Society.
He has served as a consultant for numerous companies and government agencies.