The offices of Iran’s Nobel Peace Laureate have been closed by Iranian security forces. Shirin Ebadi’s office was entered by 10 to 15 security agents on Saturday as the staff was preparing to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Human Rights Day.
According to Payvand.com:
“I asked them to show their legal warrants,” Narges Mohammadi, the deputy head of the Human Rights Defenders Center told RFE/RL, “but they declined to show any authorization. Now, there are 10 to 15 agents in the building, and they are filming us.”
“This is an illegal act,” she said. “They had no kind of authorization of any kind. They are sealing the office, and our resistance is useless.”
There were 200 to 300 guests who had been waiting to join the celebration. The security agents barred them from entering the building.
Ebadi has used a UN forum in Geneva on Human Rights Day to condemn hard-liners in power of some Muslim countries as abusers of human rights. She claimed that dictatorships use religion as a way to underpin their own power.
Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and human rights campaigner won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
The Center for Protecting Human Rights had already been banned last year by Iranian authorities but had continued to operate out of its office in Tehran. The offical word for the closing of the office in Tehran is that the required legal permits were not in place. Ebadi has stated that her group will continue to work despite the raid.
The Associated Press reports:
“Shutting down our offices won’t make us stop our human rights activities. We will meet again somewhere else and will continue to support the rights of activists and political prisoners,” she told The Associated Press.