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Iranian Human rights activists honor Ebadi's landmark speech

Public opinion and the intellectuals advocating human rights honored the landmark speech of Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi to the prestigious award ceremony in Oslo on Wednesday, IRNA reported from Tehran.

They said in their contacts with IRNA that the event will gather momentum for Ebadi's meritorious service to the cause of human rights in the international community.

Her landmark speech dealt with violation of human rights with unilateral military action of certain countries manipulating the international campaign against terrorism.

She voiced regret over the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the world.

She said several UN resolutions have underlined that all states must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights and humanitarian law.

"However, regulations restricting human rights and basic freedoms have been justified under the cloak of the war on terrorism," the Iranian lawyer said.

"Worse, these principles are also violated in Western democracies, in other words countries that were themselves among the initial codifiers of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

Ebadi questioned why some decisions and resolutions of the UN Security Council are binding, while other council resolutions have no binding force.

"Why is it that in the past 35 years, dozens of UN resolutions concerning the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel have not been implemented; yet, in the past 12 years, the state and people of Iraq were twice subjected to attack, military assault, economic sanctions, and, ultimately, military occupation?," she asked.

Ebadi said that Iranians always respected other cultures and civilizations, stressing that this has been especially advised by Islam as well as the luminaries of Iranian literature.

"In the Koran, the Prophet of Islam has said 'Thou shalt believe in thy faith and I in my religion' ...

"Since the advent of Islam, Iran's civilization and culture have become imbued and infused with humanitarianism, respect for the life, belief and faith of others, propagation of tolerance and avoidance of violence, bloodshed and war," she said.

"The luminaries of Iranian literature, such as Mowlavi (known in the West as Rumi), are emissaries of this humanitarian culture. Their message manifests itself in this poem by Saadi: "The sons of Adam are limbs of one another/Having been created of one essence." Ebadi further said that the people of Iran consider participation in public affairs as their right.

"Islam is a religion whose first sermon begins with the word 'Recite!' Such a sermon and message cannot be in conflict with knowledge, wisdom, freedom of opinion and expression, and cultural pluralism," she said.

Ebadi also said that those who advocate the idea of the clash of civilizations to suppress the right of the nations to self-determination cannot change the destiny of others by the means of force and coercion.

"When human rights are not manifested in codified laws or put into effect by states, then human beings will be left with no choice but to rebel against oppression," she said.

"If the 21st century wishes to free itself from the cycle of violence, and avoid repetition of disasters of the 20th century, there is no other way except by understanding and putting into practice every human right, for all mankind irrespective of race, gender, faith, nationality or social status."

Nobel peace laureate meets Norwegian PM, FM

Oslo, Dec 11, IRNA -- The winner of 2003 Noble Peace Prize Shirin Ebadi, who is currently here to receive her prize from the Norway-based Noble Committee, met with Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik Thursday and discussed the situation of human rights in Iran and the world. Ebadi also met with Norwegian Foreign Minister on Thursday. She is scheduled to leave here for Paris on Friday and meet with French President Jacques Chirac.

... Payvand News - 12/11/03 ... --

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