Mission

Right to Nonviolence (RN) is an international NGO, established in Lebanon and in the United States, with a unique regional and international network, a strong presence in Iraq, and correspondents the world over. In an unstable region, the reactivity of our network and capacity to redeploy activities in accessible safe haven offices (Istanbul, Baghdad, European capitals) is a major asset. RN links social, political, and business leaders, academics, journalists, and legal experts as well as promising associates, with human rights supporters around the world.

The message of RN is unprecedented: it seeks to give efficacy to nonviolence through law where possible, and through democratic mobilization where necessary.

RN is proud to build on a history of nonviolent protests in the Middle East, including the First Palestinian Intifada of 1987, Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution during 2005-2006, Iran’s nonviolent uprising in the wake of the rigged presidential elections of 2009, and now Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. These epochal movements, to which must be added the courageous actions and sacrifices of dozens of prisoners of opinion and thousands of nonviolent protesters, have rekindled hope for a new source of political change in the region. RN builds on this history to offer a different future to the world from within the Middle East.

Vision

RN is a free, cosmopolitan, nondiscriminatory movement whose objective is to increase respect for human rights and democracy throughout the Middle East.

RN believes in the power of law and justice to prevent and solve conflicts.

RN rejects the shedding of blood and the use of physical coercion to reach political objectives.

RN seeks to advance a new culture of active nonviolence in Middle Eastern societies and beyond.

Expertise

RN uniquely brings together theory and practice, an intellectual and scholarly dimension with a strong record of human rights activism encompassing landmark international judicial actions.

RN offers unique legal/linguistic capacities in key languages, local (Arabic, Persian) and international (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish), as well as broad expertise in Middle Eastern and Islamic laws.

Our partners are practitioners and academics, lawyers, business leaders and former diplomats from the region and beyond.

Issues

RN’s work—cultivated from within the region—builds on its record of scholarly legal activism and advocacy to continue its work around three foremost and enduring issues: conceiving of meaningful constitutional reform, supporting transitional justice initiatives, and encouraging the institutionalization of nonviolence both in law and as a preferred tool for democratic change.

Methods

Highest standards and best practices: rooted in the Middle East with a Lebanese local status, RN is registered within the EU Pador system as well as with the USG. Based on major project management experiences of its members, including in Iraq, RN is able to utilize the latest information technology and communication tools to effectively implement projects providing stakeholders complete and permanent transparency.

Collaboration and partnership: RN intends be a leading point of call for like-minded individuals and organizations, avoiding duplication of what has already been done and shaping them the way forward. Our skills and resources will be offered to others for strategic capacity building through trainings, conferences, and academic studies, for select judicial and mass mobilization actions, and for creative engagement with willing sectors of society.

Based on program research, studies, and publications, RN plans to establish and sustain a dynamic online knowledge base to facilitate public and scholarly access to relevant legal information.

Our Network

RN’s network of prominent individuals in government, business, media, and the arts in Europe, North America, and the Middle East are leveraged to support fundraising and public awareness campaigns.

RN bridges isolated prisoners of opinion, voices for freedom in the Middle East, and local NGOs, with public opinion, democratic governments and relevant international institutions.