Wednesday, March 02, 2005
EJI statement in defense of Shirin Ebadi (2003 Nobel Laureate)March 1, 2005
Honorable Louise Arbour
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
As you might be aware, in the past few months, Ms. Shirin Ebadi, Iranian Human Rights Campaigner, Lawyer and the Recipient of 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, has been harassed and intimidated on numerous occasions. Just in the past two months, she has been summoned twice to appear before the courts without any declared accusation. In a letter to President Khatami, she reminded him that her house was searched and ransacked and that her life was threatened by individuals who were arrested but later released. Meanwhile, the offices of the Society for Defense of Human Rights in Iran, an organization formed by Ms. Ebadi, has been constantly searched and its spokesperson attacked and beaten by apparently unknown assailants. In addition, Ms. Ebadi’s house which has been posted as bail for a closed case has not been released to be used as a pressure tool against her. Ms. Ebadi herself believes that all these intimidations are a plot to stop her activities.
We would like to bring to your attention that in our opinion Ms. Ebadi’s persistent activities for human rights such as accepting the cases of chain murders and political terrors are the major reasons behind these harassments. It is interesting to note that this obvious violation of human rights is aimed at a citizen who since winning the Nobel Peace Prize, is watched and monitored by the world community and even the President of the Islamic Republic himself has guaranteed her safety. With this in mind, it is safe to assume that a much wider scope of pressure is being administered upon women and children who are victims of the legal and constitutional discriminations and the political prisoners, writers, journalists, intellectuals and political activists who fight for freedom of expression and thought.
The indications are that all these violations as well as the torture of the Web Loggers are the work of the powerful rulers of the Islamic Republic and its illegal security and judicial apparatus. We urge you to pressure the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Ms. Ebadi’s safety and well-being.
We urge you to follow through with this case as well as hundreds of other human right violations in Iran and to set the ground work for the re-appointment of a Special Representative to monitor the events in Iran in the upcoming March meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
For Political Council of EJI
Unity for a Democratic and Secular Republic in Iran (EJI)
CC: Honorable Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations
President of International Federation of the League of Human Rights
President of the Society in Defense of Human Rights in Iran