Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Shirin Ebadi asks for Help in an Open Letter

I just got this open letter written by Shirin Ebadi, Peace Noble Prize Laureate to ask help from international community.

There is a very important matter I would like to discuss with you. I
conduct my human rights activities through the Defender of Human Rights
Center (DHRC). I am the president of this center and we have three
important responsibilities:

a. We report the violations of human rights that take place in Iran.

b. We defend political prisoners pro bono -- about 70% of the political
prisoners in Iran are clients of our center and we do not charge them for
our services.

c. We support the families of these prisoners both financially -- if they
require financial aid -- and spiritually.

This center is a member of the International Federation for Human Rights
(FIDH) and has been registered there. It has also been awarded a human
rights prize by the Human Rights National Commission in France. This
center is very well known and credible in Iran. Two days ago the
government of Iran announced that this center is illegal and provided we
continue our activities, they shall arrest us. Of course me and the other
members of the center do not intend to shut down the center and we shall
continue our activities. However, there is a high possibility that that
they will arrest us. The government's action in this regard is illegal.

Therefore, I kindly request that you broadcast this message by all mean
and gather spiritual support for our center. This center has been
established and working for more than four years now. I believe this
decision of the government has been triggered by my memoir being
published. In any case, I am happy that my memoir has been published, for
the truth must be told.

Many thanks,

Shirin Ebadi


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