Advancing Human Rights
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Advancing Human Rights (AHR) is 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization “dedicated to individual liberty and good governance.” Founded in 2011, AHR is based in New York City and advocates for fundamental freedoms with a focus on “closed societies.”
Advancing Human Rights (AHR) was created in 2010 by Robert L. Bernstein,the founder of Human Rights Watch and former President and CEO of Random House for twenty-five years. AHR focuses on freedom of speech, women’s rights and promoting the freedoms outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly by leveraging the power of the Internet. Online activists and cyber dissidents are the new generation of cutting edge human rights proponents. Their courageous innovations and recognition of the terrible risks and abuses they face in closed societies are the heart of AHR’s mission. To address these issues head on, Bernstein decided to form a new human rights organization at the age of 87.
In June 2012, the New York Times wrote, "Apart from its online orientation, Advancing Human Rights is distinguished by its embrace of a disputed philosophy in the human rights world: it will focus exclusively on authoritarian countries."
AHR currently runs three programs: CyberDissidents.org, AHR Press: E-Publish or Perish and its most recent division, Movements.org. CyberDissidents.org promotes freedom of expression for bloggers and online activists in the Arab world and Iran. In late 2010, it launched a Blogger Board composed of some of the best-recognized dissidents in the Middle East and North Africa.
CyberDissidents.org has been praised by the director of policy at Google, a former US ambassador to the EU, Natan Sharansky and other leading public figures.
AHR Press: E-Publish or Perish is a new e-publishing venture whose mission is to find and publish the boldest, brightest and most eloquent works of dissident literature available around the world. AHR will publish books in their original language as well as translate them to English, and seek to ensure the widest possible distribution for them.
Movements.org, co-founded in 2008 by Jared Cohen now the director of Google Ideas, represents a new model of peer-to-peer training wherein digital activists lend their experience in digital organizing, especially short term protests and campaigns, not just to each other but also to those whose expertise lies in long term capacity building. Movements.org formally merged with AHR in June, 2012. Mr. Cohen said, the group was impressed by the activists abroad who had been connected by one of its programs, CyberDissidents.org, run by David Keyes.
In August 2012, Movements.org in collaboration with Al-Jazeera launched an interactive tracking tool that tracks the Syrian Defections of senior military officials, members of parliament and diplomats of Assad's regime. The tracker was released on Al Jazeera and can be found here.
- Freedom of speech
- Women’s rights
- Religious freedom
- Open education
- Internet activism
- Hate speech
- Human rights groups’ accountability
- Robert L. Bernstein
- David Keyes
- Elena Bonner
- Irwin Cotler
- Scott Greathead
- Richard Kemp
- Stuart Robinowitz
- Stephen Apkon
- Joseph L. Birman
- Anthony Julius
- Lori Evans Bernstein
- Trevor Norwitz
- Toni Morrison
- David Kilgour
- Dorothy Tananbaum
- Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim
- "Projects". About AHR. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- "CyberDissidents.org Launches Blogger Board". News and Analysis. Retrieved 2 March 2011.