Shirin Ebadi

Human Rights Activist in Tehran

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Bengt Oberger

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Image license: CC BY-SA 4.0

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Shirin Ebadi (Persian: شيرين عبادى‎, romanized: Širin Ebādi; born 21 June 1947) is an Iranian political activist, lawyer, a former judge and human rights activist and founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. On 10 October 2003, Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially women’s, children’s, and refugee rights. She was the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive the prize, and thousands greeted her at the airport when she returned from Paris after receiving the news that she had won the prize. The response to the Award in Iran was mixed—enthusiastic supporters greeted her at the airport upon her return, the conservative media underplayed it, and then-Iranian President Mohammad Khatami criticized it as political. Shirin Ebadi is a supporter of “maximum pressure” policy on Iran and has repeatedly called for Western sanctions against Iran. Ebadi is supportive of an oil-for-food program for Iran in which Iran can only receive food and drugs from outside.
In 2009, Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, published a statement reporting that Ebadi’s Nobel Peace Prize had been confiscated by Iranian authorities and that “This [was] the first time a Nobel Peace Prize ha[d] been confiscated by national authorities.” Iran denied the charges.Ebadi lived in Tehran, but she has been in exile in the UK since June 2009 due to the increase in persecution of Iranian citizens who are critical of the current regime. In 2004, she was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the “100 most powerful women in the world”. She is also included in a published list of the “100 most influential women of all time.”


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