Nobel Laureate and Activist Dr. Shirin Ebadi’s Safety Threatened

Dr. Shirin Ebadi, a defender of women’s rights, lawyer, and Iran’s pre-eminent Nobel Laureate, has faced increasingly intense threats to her personal safety in recent weeks. In the latest of a series of serious incidents, an angry mob surrounded Dr. Ebadi’s home and personal office chanting death threats against her and violently vandalizing her building.

Ebadi told the Campaign for Equality that “there are a lot of writers on this street, but I am the only writer who is also a traitor! I called the police immediately after the mob arrived. Two police officers arrived on the scene. They stood and watched, as those chanting slogans spray painted my home and attacked the building. They stood and watched, until it was over. The mob left and then the police also left.”

Last week, authorities raided Dr. Ebadi’s personal office and seized her writings, confidential legal files, and two computers amid claims of so-called tax evasion. Dr. Ebadi’s human rights organization was also forcibly closed by Iranian authorities in December.

According to the BBC, Hassan Qashqavi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman has said that security will be provided for Ebadi if she requests it.


BBC 1/5/09; Campaign 4 Equality 12/24/08, 1/3/09; Feminist Majority Foundation

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