Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi isn’t intimidated by police force. When her human rights group’s office was shut down by Iranian police last year, she told them, “You might have closed my apartment, but you can’t shut my mouth.”
Ebadi, 61, has kept her word. In light of the recent controversial Iranian election, she has called for peace, saying that she expects “the international community to prevent the pursuit of violence by the government.”
At a news conference in Geneva, she went on to say that she also expects the government to stop firing on the people of Iran, and that a new election should be held in Iran.
According to Amnesty International, up to 10 people have been killed in the violence, hundreds have been arrested, and street protests against the dubious election results continue.
Ebadi, a lawyer, says that those imprisoned should be released, and that protests should continue, though peacefully.
Through death threats and constant opposition, Ebadi has continued to lobby for human rights for all people. “I condemn all human rights violations. I am not an opposition leader, I am a human rights defender,” she says.
According to Ebadi, the closing of her Defenders of Human Rights Center in Tehran was illegal; however, though she has filed a complaint, it has yet to be addressed.
“But for the moment the authorities haven’t looked at our case.”
Hopefully her impassioned words will help end some of the violence in Iran. U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay echoed Ebadi’s cries for peace at the same news conference, saying that the Iranian government should put a stop to the Islamic militiamen who are supposedly behind the violence.