Iran arrests activist Ebadi's assistant

The headquarters of Ebadi's rights group was closed on Dec. 21 on the grounds it did not have a permit for its activities.

Iran arrests activist Ebadi's assistant

Iran has arrested an assistant to Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi whose offices were shut down by the authorities last month, a rights activist said on Thursday.

The headquarters of Ebadi's rights group was closed on Dec. 21 on the grounds it did not have a permit for its activities, drawing criticism from Western states and organisations. Iran says the closure is temporary and a legal matter.

Jinous Sobhani, the secretary of Ebadi's Defenders of Human Rights Centre, was detained on Wednesday, Narges Mohammadi, deputy head of the centre, told Reuters.

"People from the intelligence ministry arrested her on Wednesday morning. They had an arrest warrant and search warrant," she said, but added that the authorities did not explain why Sobhani had been detained.

"The people who arrested her took her notebook, telephone book and some other documents from her house," Mohammadi said.

Ebadi has repeatedly criticised Iran's human rights record, saying the country had the highest number of executions per capita in 2007 and a growing number of political prisoners.

Iran's government denies it violates human rights and accuses its Western critics of hypocrisy. It also insists that it respects free speech.

Over the years, Ebadi's advocacy of human rights has led to a spell in prison and provoked a stream of threatening letters and telephone calls. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.

Reuters
Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2009, 11:07
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