Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt express serious concern over the Iranian authorities’ treatment of Shirin Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote human rights in Iran.
“Shirin Ebadi is one of many courageous people who use peaceful means to try to increase respect for human rights in Iran. We react very strongly to the treatment to which Shirin Ebadi has been subjected,” say Foreign Ministers Støre and Bildt, in a statement on the day of the Nobel Award Ceremony.
“We were dismayed to receive the news that the Iranian authorities had recently deprived Ms Ebadi of the medal and diploma given to her when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. The medal and diploma have now been restored to her, but her situation continues to be serious. Ms Ebadi is prevented from working as a defender of human rights in her home country and the Iranian authorities have closed the Defenders of Human Rights Centre of which she was co-founder. The confiscation of the medal and the numerous threats directed at her, her family and her colleagues give cause for great concern and are yet another example of the worsened human rights situation in Iran since the election in June this year. “
“Norway and Sweden urge the Iranian authorities to allow Ms Ebadi’s safe return to Iran and to allow the Defenders of Human Rights Centre to reopen so that she can resume her important work for human rights in the country,” conclude Ministers Støre and Bildt.