United Nations, New York, June 3, IRNA -- 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi here on Wednesday sharply condemned the vast scale torture, and killing under torture of at least 15 Iraqi and Afghan detainees in US prisons.
The first Muslim woman who has ever won the prestigious prize, said in a gathering of dozens of press representatives from different countries at New York headquarters of the United Nations, "Every day we witness the publication of new shocking pictures, films, and news on severe violations of the most natural human rights by US forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo."
She added, "America that always claimed to be the standard bearer of the human rights and democracy around the world is today found guilty for broad violation of those rights, and I ask myself today, how could the American nation tolerate such behavior, and how can the US officials justify them?"
Ms. Ebadi reiterated, "We should not forget the hardships former US president Theodore Roosevelt went through to include certain articles in the UN Declaration of the Human Rights, and today, those who have committed such crimes, and those whose orders have led to the occurrence of them should feel ashamed before the great soul of Roosevelt."
In response to a reporter's question, Ebadi said, "Democracy is not a gift to be awarded to a nation, and cannot be thrown over the heads of them along with bombs. So it was merely a pretext for the occupation of Iraq, and no more."
She further emphasized, "Therefore, if the United States, or any other country wishes to help the progress of democracy in the Middle East, it had better bear in mind that resorting to militarism would do no good in that respect."
Ebadi added, "The only way to deal with such matters is through the UN assistance, similar to what happened during the occupation of Kuwait."
She further reiterated, "I have repeatedly voiced my objection on military attack against Iraq, and like many other Iranians, always hoped that the Iraqis themselves would have toppled Saddam Hussain."
The Nobel prize laureate emphasized, "Unfortunately, the human rights issue in United States, too, is not so satisfactory, like in many other countries in the world, and let us not forget that the USA never even signed the Convention of the Human Rights."
In response to Radio Tel Aviv reporter's question on his idea about the level of observation of the human rights in Israel, and wether she has ever listened to the Persian news editions of Radio Israel, or not, She said, "I too, like many other human rights activists, believe that the human rights are broadly violated in Israel. She added, "Particularly more so, since Israel ignores many UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions."
She added, "The UN resolutions are reflections of the collective wisdom of the world nations and so when one of them is issued, the nations expect to see them in effect soon."
In response to the other part of Radio Tel Aviv reporter's question, Ebadi said, "I have never had time to listen to foreign radios that broadcast in Farsi."
A reporter asked Ebadi her idea about the current condition of Tehran-Washington relations. She said, "I hold no official position in Iran, and furthermore, I am not a political personality. But as an Iranian citizen, I believe all problems in the world can be solved relying on holding dialogues. The point is though that the two sides of a meaningful dialogue should enjoy equal rights and equal positions."
Ms. Ebadi further said, "Dialogues in which one side would play the boss and the other the role of quite a humiliated person would play no role in solving disputes. Meaningful dialogues need to take place at friendly atmospheres, and both sides must enjoy equal rights and status."
In response to a question on the new Iraqi government, she said, "What really matters there is the function of those who are elected. We have to wait and see whether those people's deeds would lead to gaining the public trust in Iraq, or not. But generally speaking I evaluate the presence of women in that government as a positive point, if they would act wisely. Otherwise, mere presence of women at a government does not really mean anything."
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate in response to a question on the reaction of the Iranian government and nation towards his Nobel prize said, "My fellow citizens, particularly the youth and women enthusiastically welcomed the allocation of this prized to an Iranian citizen. The reason why, too, is quite clear. That is because that prize has not been awarded to a person, but to the freedom seeking and reforms movement in Iran."
Ms. Ebadi on the role played by the Iranian government in her success, said, "The government is not a solid entity in Iran. The conservatives believed this prize has been awarded to me due to certain political considerations. But a small part of the system, namely the reformists, and particularly the Parliament members, welcomed the prize donation. Some 170 MPs congratulated me on the occasion."
The Nobel Peace Prize winner emphasized, "I hope the laws would be altered in Iran, and the Iranian government would abide by those international human rights pacts which it has joined."
She added, "Those laws that are in direct contrast with the human rights need to be annulled and replaced with new laws."
Ms. Ebadi emphasized in her press conference that the Islamic laws go well with the rules of democracy and have no contrast with the human rights. She added, "I believe we can remain Muslims and and meanwhile respect the human rights.
She also emphasized, "We can also remain Muslims, and meanwhile enjoy true democracy."
... Payvand News - 6/3/04 ... --