Scholars at Risk: VIU Welcomes Hossein Raeesi

Date change (due to weather): Now Wednesday, February 15 at 11:30 a.m. in the Malaspina Theatre.

Vancouver Island University is pleased to announce the upcoming visit (February 5-18) of VIU’s first Scholar at Risk, Mr. Hossein Raeesi. Scholars at Risk 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. VIU joined Scholars at Risk in 2016.

Hossein Raeesi, a lawyer and human rights advocate, practiced law in Shiraz, Iran for 20 years. He 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. As a pro bono attorney, Mr. Raeesi has defended 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 and writing on issues including: Sharia law and human rights, the death penalty in Islamic legal systems, domestic violence, children’s rights, and LGBT issues. In addition, Mr. Raeesi has 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 is being hosted with the generous support of the Faculties of Education, Social Sciences and International Education. During his time at VIU, Mr. Raeesi will be taking part in VIU’s International Development Week activities, meeting students and faculty, and delivering public lectures, including his keynote presentation – Speaking Truth to Power in Iran, which will take place:

Wednesday, February 15 (previously February 7th)

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Malaspina Theatre

All members of the campus and broader Nanaimo community are invited to attend.