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Iranian Nobel Laureate Dedicates Prize To Jailed Colleague

Source: RFE/RL

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has dedicated a prestigious human rights prize she received to a recently detained Iranian colleague, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Ebadi received the Felix Ermacora Prize for Human Rights in Vienna on June 15. 

Narges Mohammadi
Open letter by Narges Mohammadi on Oppression of Dissidents

Ebadi told Radio Farda after receiving the award that she was dedicating her prize to a former colleague, Narges Mohammadi.

"This courageous woman deserves this award more than I do," Ebadi said.

Mohammadi, deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), was arrested at her home on June 10 by Intelligence Ministry officials.

"As human rights defenders in Iran -- unlike their peers in Europe -- work under difficult conditions, granting such awards is a declaration of support and sympathy for them," Ebadi said. 

Ebadi is the current head of the DHRC and one of its co-founders.

She added that several of her DHRC colleagues have been jailed since Iran's controversial presidential election last year.

Two of the center's co-founders, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah and Abdolfatah Soltani, were arrested in June 2009 and imprisoned for several months. Journalist and DHRC member Abdolreza Tajik was detained on June 12 for the third time since last year's election. 

Ebadi has also been the target of harassment by Iranian authorities in recent years. 

"The regime's main problem is my [human] rights activities," Ebadi told Radio Farda. "Yet they have frozen my bank accounts under the illegal pretext of tax evasion on the Nobel Prize."

Related article:

Ebadi Says Iran Opposition Has Evolved, Not Weakened
Iran's opposition movement has adapted to dire restrictions and is still strong and alive, Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has said, calling for more focus on what she called "extensive" human rights abuses. Ebadi said the government's decision to prevent families from holding funerals of killed protestors over fears of opposition rallies showed the weakness of the government. "A government that is scared of a corpse is a weak government," she said.

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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