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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Today: November 05, 2003 at 8:04:53 PST

Iranian Nobel Laureate Given Bodyguards

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has been given bodyguards by police following a number of death threats since she returned to Iran last month, a close associate said Wednesday.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, spokesman for the Center for Protecting Human Rights, said Ebadi has received one or two threatening letters a day since a week after the Nobel was announced Oct. 10.

Dadkhah said one of the letters depicted a knife and another threatened, "You will be punished for this prize."

Dadkhah said it was not clear who was sending the death threats but that it appeared to be a warning by extremist groups. He didn't elaborate.

Police have responded by assigning bodyguards to Ebadi, according to Dadkhah. Police have also given her a police car with a driver. The protection was provided after the center, co-founded by Ebadi, wrote to Iran's Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari warning that her life was in danger, he said.

Police officials were not immediately available for comment.

Ebadi, a human rights and pro-democracy lawyer, won the Nobel for efforts that included promoting the cause of women and children in Iran and worldwide. She is the first Iranian and Muslim woman to win the award.

While reformers hailed Ebadi's victory as a "source of pride for Iran and a boost to democratic reforms," hard-liners denounced her as a "Western mercenary."

Gholamreza Hasani, who represents Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in northwestern Iran, has described Ebadi as a "mentally retarded woman with secular thinking."

In her first news conference in Tehran last month as a Nobel laureate, Ebadi demanded Iranian leaders free all political prisoners, including journalists and activists jailed for allegedly insulting the hard-line authorities. She said last week there has been no response from the leadership.

After a daring speech last week at Amir Kabir University where Ebadi praised modern and ancient enemies of the Islamic hard-liners who rule Iran, she made a small but telling gesture: shaking hands with two men, Habibollah Peyman and Mohammad Maleki, both prominent dissidents. Under Iran's Islamic-inspired laws, it is a crime for men and women who are not related to shake hands in public. Possible punishments range from jail to flogging.

On Wednesday, Sajjad Qoroqi, a reformist student leader who helped organize the speech, said authorities have since banned Ebadi, Peyman and Maleki from addressing students at that university for a year "under pressure from Khameneni's representative."
20 posted on 11/05/2003 9:32:03 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
Payvand's Iran News ...

Iran's freedom of expression and opinion discussed with UN's Human Rights Commission
Secretary of the Islamic Human Rights Commission Mohammad Hassan Ziayeefar said in Tehran on Tuesday that Iran's positive progress on freedom of expression and opinion, challenges in related regulations and implementation of laws on freedom were discussed with United Nations Human Rights Commission.

Ziayeefar made the remarks in an interview with IRNA after a meeting with the rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

Pointing to the responsibilities of the UN delegation, he said, They are obliged to acquire true information on the Iranian society through official and unofficial sources recognized at international levels and prepare a report on false claims and correct cases of violation of such freedom.

He added the delegation will present its report to the UN Human Rights Commission and it will be discussed next spring. Ziayeefar noted that no declaration will be issued against Iran if the commission assessed as positive the reports prepared by its delegations on Iran.

He said the six-day visit by the rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of expression of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to Iran is taking place at the invitation of Iran's Foreign Ministry.

Talking to IRNA at the end of the meeting, the UN special rapporteur Ambeyi Ligabo said the visit is aimed at discussing freedom of expression and opinion in Iran.

He said he will express his views on the situation of freedom of expression and opinion in Iran after concluding the information and comparing it with other neighboring states.

Ligabo and his entourage are scheduled to meet with members of Majlis Article 90 Commission members and Tehran's Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi on Wednesday.

A member of Iran's Assembly of Experts and a member of the Supreme Board of Islamic Human Rights Commission Hashem Hashemzadeh Asl Herisi, a member of the Presiding Board and a member of Majlis's Legal and Judiciary Commission Ebrahim Amini were also present at the meeting.

27 posted on 11/05/2003 1:11:45 PM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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