Authorities confiscate Ebadi’s Nobel Peace Prize / Six year prison sentence for Behzad Nabavi

2009/11/26

Published in “Der Spiegel” on November 25, 2009
Source (German): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,663666,00.html#ref=rss

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ebadi: Diploma and medal confiscated by Iran

Iranian authorities have confiscated the Nobel Peace Prize of human rights activist Shirin Ebadi. The laureate has repeatedly been facing harrassments from her country in the past. The Norwegian government is outraged.

Oslo/Tehran – Iranian authorities have confiscated the diploma and the medal of lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi’s 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. This was confirmed by Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre in Oslo on Thursday. Støre summoned Tehran’s diplomatic representative and protested on behalf of his government.

Ebadi, a lawyer, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran. She was detained several times, and even as a Nobel Peace Prize laureate she was repeatedly harrassed by the authorities to the point that her office was shut down.

According to the information provided by Norway, the entire content of one of Ebadi’s bank boxes now was confiscated, including the Nobel awards. Norway’s Foreign Minister Støre stated, “It is the first time that a state confiscates a Nobel Peace Prize. We are shocked and do not have the slightest understanding for this.”

Along with the medal and the diploma, Ebadi had also received the endowment of ten million krones (about 1 million Euro).

Six year prison sentence for a dissident
An Iranian opponent to the mullah regime in Tehran was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday. The former Iranian Minister of Industry and deputy president of parliament, Behzad Nabavi, was accused to have played a major role in the demonstrations following the disputed presidential elections on 12. June. This was reported on websites of the reformist movement on Thursday.

The former Minister was released on bail and may now lodge an appeal. The Revolutionary Court has charged him for turning against the Islamic establishment. Nabavi himself has never acknowledged the charge of pursuing an overthrow (of the regime).

Last week, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the former deputy of ex-president Mohammad Khatami, was also sentenced to six years in prison.

luk/AFP/dpa

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