Sweden, Norway: Nobel medal returned to Ebadi
Associated Press
10-Dec-2009 (one comment)

STOCKHOLM — Scandinavian officials said Thursday that the Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma confiscated by Iran from laureate Shirin Ebadi have been returned, but that her situation remains a "serious concern."

The Islamic Republic confiscated the Iranian human rights lawyer's 2003 Nobel medal and diploma last month, but the ministers said she now has them again. They did not give any details.

"The medal and diploma have now been restored to her, but her situation continues to be serious," Sweden's Carl Bildt and Norway's Jonas Gahr Stoere said in the joint statement that come on the day of the annual Nobel Award ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo.

Iranian embassy officials in Stockholm could not immediately be reached for comment.

The confiscation, which according to Ebadi came on the orders of Tehran's Revolutionary Court, has caused a diplomatic rift between the Islamic Republic and Norway.

In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation of the gold medal was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize, and lodged a complaint with Tehran. Iran in turn summoned Norway's ambassador, saying the Nordic country had no right to criticize it.

Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to be awarded the peace prize and the first female judge in Iran, won the prize for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her ac... >>>

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Iranian authorities should

by vildemose on

Iranian authorities should immediately stop their harassment campaign against Shirin Ebadi, the human rights defender and 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate, and her family, Human Rights Watch said today.

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has summoned Ebadi’s husband and sister for questioning and threatened them with losing their jobs and eventual arrest if Ebadi continues her human rights advocacy. In late November, a Revolutionary Court order froze Ebadi’s personal bank accounts and her retirement pay and authorized confiscation of the family’s belongings, including her husband’s safe deposit box that held her Nobel Peace Prize, Legion d’honneur, and other awards. Authorities gave no reason, although this followed their claim that she had not paid taxes on those awards.

“The government has been doing everything it can to silence those who speak out for human rights,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It should choose today, Human Rights Day and the day the Nobel peace prize is awarded, to reverse course and call off its campaign against its most famous human rights activist.” Go to Human Rights Watch.