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  • » 12/22/2008, 00.00

    IRAN

    Iran closes human rights center of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi



    The center wanted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UN declaration of human rights. The police threatened and beat those present, and confiscated cameras. According to Human Rights Watch, it is "a challenge" to the entire worldwide human rights movement. Concern over the fate of the Nobel laureate.

    Tehran (AsiaNews/HRW) - There is concern after Iranian police yesterday stormed and closed the office of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), created by 2003 Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi. The group Human Rights Watch speaks of an attempt to reduce to silence anyone in the country who tries to defend human rights, and is calling for the immediate reopening of the center and an investigation of those responsible for the action.

    The DHRC, founded in 2000 by Ebadi and other pro-rights activists, had invited more than 300 activists to gather on December 21 for a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the UN declaration of human rights.

    Narges Mohammadi, spokesperson of the DHRC, says that when she arrived at about three o'clock in the afternoon, she found dozens of policemen who blocked access, filmed Ebadi and the others present, and finally locked the entrance. She says that police officials have refused to show any search warrant. Cameras were confiscated from journalists, and Hadi Esmailzadeh, a member of the DHRC, was beaten.

    Kenneth Roth, executive director of HRW, observes that this is an action not only against Shirin Ebadi and the DHRC, but against the entire worldwide human rights community, partly intended to show citizens of the whole country that Tehran has "zero tolerance" for anyone who defends human rights.

    Now it is feared that some DHRC activists have been arrested, since - HRW recalls - Iran has  carried out arbitrary arrests on the basis of flimsy accusations in conjunction with similar raids in the past. For example, Mohammad Sadiq Kaboudvand, founder of the Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his activity.

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    See also

    14/08/2008 IRAN
    Green light from mullahs for killing of Shirin Ebadi?
    The charge has been prompted by an accusation issued by official sources, saying that the Nobel laureate has become Bahai. For the Iranian criminal code, this makes her worthy of death, and if someone were to kill her he would not be punished.

    26/03/2009 TAJIKISTAN
    Tajik president Rakhmon signs law suffocating religious freedom
    Even while it was being drafted, the bill was criticized by the OCSE and the U.S. Prompted by the fear of Islamic fundamentalism, it puts under state control any activity connected to faith, institutes censorship of religious publications, and makes the legalization of non-Muslim groups almost impossible.

    09/03/2013 CHINA
    Hong Kong journalists badly beaten outside Liu Xiaobo’s wife’s house
    The activist Yang Kuang attempted to visit Liu Xia and two cameramen wanted to film the encounter. A group of unidentified men accosted them and savagely beat them, then took the activist away in a police car. The woman is under house arrest since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize (2010).

    20/09/2008 ASIA
    Religious freedom continues to decline in Asia
    Serious and systematic violations of religious freedom are on the rise, including on the part of the authorities. This is the conclusion of the annual report of the U.S. State Department. Over the past year, there have been systematic persecutions in China and Myanmar, but the situation in India is also extremely serious.

    12/02/2009 CHINA - UNITED NATIONS
    China rejects all criticism on human rights, but accepts advice from Cuba and Iran
    In the report on the review of violations in China, Beijing stresses the advice of countries calling for greater control of dissidents and the internet. But human rights activists are claiming success simply for being able to discuss China's abuses at a UN meeting.



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