Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Raid on activists' offices

From The Australian:
"Iranian authorities have raided and shut down the office of a human rights group led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi as the group was preparing to present an award to a political activist who spent 17 years in prison in the Islamic republic.

Iranian authorities banned Ms Ebadi's Centre for Protecting Human Rights last year, but it has continued to operate from an office in the north of the capital, Tehran.

Ms Ebadi said yesterday that plainclothes security officials and police in uniform had sealed the building where her group was working without presenting a warrant. No arrests were reported.

The prominent activist said her group would continue its work despite the raid. Her group has campaigned for judicial reforms such as banning stoning and cutting off limbs as punishments. It has opposed executions of juvenile offenders.

Ms Ebadi said the building that authorities targeted was bought with money she received after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in2003. A lawyer and human rights and democracy campaigner, she won the prize for efforts that included promoting the rights of women and children not just in Iran, but around the world. She is the first Iranian and Muslim woman to win the award."

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