Ramin Forghani

“In June 2012, I finished my Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in Iran. I started my MSc in Environmental Engineering in September of that year at the University of Strathclyde in the UK."

"During my course in Glasgow, as a young Iranian who for the first time was out of the social restrictions of Iran, I pursued my political interests. During that time I started two organisations, the Iranian Atheists Associations and Ex-Muslims Scotland (the Scottish affiliation of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain). I also was elected and served as the vice-chair of the Scottish Secular Society from March 2014 to March 2015.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed the new freedoms I gained, they brought with them threats and stressors I had not anticipated. After a few months of receiving threats I took my colleagues’ advice and requested Asylum. Since then, I have continued vocally advocating for human rights in the UK and Middle Eastern and North Africa region.
Over the past two years I have actively engaged with organizing campaigns and activities for the above mentioned organizations and advocating human rights and liberal values.
To illustrate, I have been advocating for the freedom of Raif Badawi, a prisoner of conscience in Saudi Arabia, who has been unfairly imprisoned and is facing a heavily lashing sentence solely for expressing his liberal views. My correspondence has resulted in written support from the Scottish Government for this case. I have also spoken at the BBC on a few occasions for discussions regarding human rights and freedom of religion.”