I chatted briefly with Omid Memarian at the United Nations last night. He had just finished interviewing Shirin Ebadi in Tehran . He said having interviewed Ms. Ebadi tens of times, the usually resolute and strong defender of human rights in Iran was sounding a little tired, sad, and vulnerable this time around. The recent attack on the building where Ebadi both lives and works, as police officers simply looked on has been a scary experience for the Nobel Peace Laureate.
I have often thought what kind of character it would take to do as she has done, standing up courageously for those political prisoners whose very legal representation has been a scary prospect for many attorneys in Iran. I have often thought what would it take for most of us to fight tirelessly for a cause for 30 years, defending the rights of women and children of Iran, never giving up. What I had never known, until I read Omid’s interview with Ms. Ebadi, has had me thinking and realizing new depths to Ebadi's courage, however.
What would you do if you were Shirin Ebadi, accepting to represent the Forouhar family who were seeking justice for their slaughtered parents, going to read the files and perpetrators' confessions, only to realize that the same man who had issued permission (fatwa) to kill the Forouhars (Dorri Najafabdi) had also issued a similar permission for your murder? I don’t know what I would have done, but I know what Shirin Ebadi did. She forged ahead, undaunted and un-intimidated. That’s the stuff she’s made of, more courageous than anyone else I have ever known in my life.
Please do whatever you can to bring awareness to Shirin Ebadi’s treatment in Iran . Her life really is in danger.
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