The Institute is in the process of implementing a three-year comprehensive project on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This project aims to continue and further promote human rights as a central part of the EU-Iran dialogue, in which both parties have been engaged since 2002. The project is expected to contribute to the mutual understanding of human rights in Islamic and non-Islamic cultures; to raise legal awareness among the wider population and specific focus groups; and promote the adoption of major human rights instruments in Iran.
One of the activities of the project is to monitor how the international and local media in Iran report human rights stories from that country. In January 2007, a methodology was devised whereby a number of national rapporteurs from their home countries would select newspapers to monitor over a three-month period. The papers were chosen on the basis of their circulation figures, political stance and accessibility. For the first media monitoring study, rapporteurs from Austria, France, Canada, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Russian Federation, the UK and the US monitored their selected newspapers from January - April.
The information the rapporteurs collate is subsequently analysed in three-monthly reports which are designed to identify and analyse any disparities, or differential treatment in reporting human rights stories in Iran in order to gain an overall picture of the way in which such stories are reported there and in the other countries being monitored. The January-April 2007 report is available here.
The next monitoring period (July-September) is currently taking place. The number of rapporteurs has been increased so as to include newspapers from Australia, Belgium, Spain and Turkey.