Archive for the ‘Shirin Ebadi’s Center for the Defense of Human Rights’ Category

In Iran, Police Raid, Halt Human Rights Event

December 22, 2008
No one is arrested as an award ceremony in Tehran for longtime political dissident Taghi Rahmani is disrupted.
By Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim
Reporting from Tehran and Beirut
The Los Angeles Times
December 22, 2008 

Security officials in Tehran shut down the office of the country’s leading rights defenders Sunday as activists and lawyers gathered there to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

A swarm of uniformed and plainclothes security officers raided Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi’s Center for the Defense of Human Rights, reportedly taking video footage of offices, making an inventory of equipment and demanding that members leave, telling them authorities had a court order banning any ceremony.

The officers refused to show a paper copy of the order, said Mohammad-Ali Dadkhah, a Tehran human rights lawyer who defends journalists, activists and others accused of political crimes.

“Anyway, we called it a day and wrapped up the gathering,” he said.

No one was arrested, witnesses said.

Ebadi told Agence France-Presse by telephone that the incident would have no effect on the group’s work. “Obviously such a move does not have a positive message for other rights activists in Iran, but my colleagues and I will fulfill our duties under any circumstances,” she told the news agency.

The raid on Ebadi’s small, world-renowned organization was the latest in an official campaign to pressure those calling for human rights and advocating peaceful democratic change in Iran.

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