About Baquer

 Baquer is an 80 year old retired senior UNICEF official and civil society volunteer dedicating his life and career to the eradication of poverty. Baquer has served vulnerable people around the world, with a focus on children and women in his capacity as an international civil servant and as a civil society volunteer after his retirement. He has never been involved in any other business, activity or capacity. 


  • Deputy of Planning and Budget Organization and Governor–General of Khuzestan Province in Iran prior to Iranian revolution of 1979
  • Policy and planning advisor UNICEF, NY 1984-1986
  • UNICEF country representative to Somalia 1986-1988
  • UNICEF country representative to Kenya 1988-1991
  • UNICEF country representative to Egypt -1991-1997
  • Civil Society volunteer in Iran since retirement from UNICEF in 1997



  • Played key role in engaging UNICEF in drafting process of Convention on Rights of the Child and in development of the Rights Based Approach. (Awarded medal of UNICEF and Center for Human Rights). 
  • Drafted UNICEF paper on Children in situations of Armed Conflict, in which concept of Children as zones of peace was defined, and as result of implementation, warring parties agreed to cease hostilities to allow for immunization and essential services for children
  • Produced guidelines on incorporation of tribal nomadic people in UNICEF programs for WHO and UNICEF
  • In Egypt and Kenya engaged governments in policy dialogue to increase local partnerships, resulting in more than 50 percent of UNICEF program funds being channeled through NGOs

Iran 1998 until present: 

  • Established Hamyaran Iran NGO as first resource center in Iran. Worked closely with local and regional government bodies to increase capacity building of NGOs, helping them to initiate community empowerment projects countrywide. 
  • Provided people-centered development models with an emphasis on and a respect for sustainable development, environmental protection, community participation, poverty alleviation, equal rights of citizens - particularly for women and youth. Facilitated the adoption of an NGO code of ethics, promoted transparency and accountability, and human dignity with a focus on vulnerable groups. 
  • Hamyaran became known globally as leading independent, non-political and transparent NGO for cooperation on sustainable development in Iran
  • Cooperation with many international organizations and NGOS including, World Bank, IMF, UNICEF, UNDP, as well as various projects with Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, European and US NGOs. 
  • Actively involved in coordinating complex disaster relief during the Bam earthquake and other natural disasters in Iran
  • Provided vision and directed community based initiatives of Hamyaran including community empowerment pilot projects in Ardekan, Bam, Lorestan with support of the communities, local philanthropists, local and national authorities, the UN and select international CSOs. The Bam project was selected as a success story for replication and up scaling. 
  • Played key role in promoting the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility in Iran and engaged private sector with other partners around major development challenges, such as post-disaster rehabilitation and development of Bam in the aftermath of the earthquake. 
  • Sponsored and organized several panels and events during World Bank, UN and CIVICUS annual meetings to bring voices of the poor to the decision-making table. 

Arrest and Conviction: 

Baquer Namazi (80) was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on 22 February 2016 and transferred to the notorious Evin prison. Baquer’s son, Siamak Namazi, had been earlier arrested on 13 October 2015 by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and is also held at Evin prison. 

Baquer Namazi’s humanitarian efforts were criminalized and was unjustly sentenced to 10 years in prison on 17 October 2016 for “collaboration with hostile government” at a trial that lasted only a few hours and only one short meeting with his lawyer prior to his trial. His son Siamak was similarly convicted for 10 years on the same date and for same charges. 

At his age, this is a life sentence for Baquer Namazi. Baquer will not survive any prison sentence given his frail age and health. Baquer has had triple bypass surgery in the past and has lost over 10 kilos in prison. There is extreme concern for his health and well being.