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Nobel Peace Prize Confiscated

November 27, 2009
Iranian leaders are so insecure that the peace efforts of one of its own are a threat to their masculinity.  Robbing Shirin Ebadi of her internationally recognized Nobel Peace Prize, is really tacky.  This is not the first time Amadinejad, and the counsel that controls him, have acted out like the control freak bullies they are.  They are totally blind to the power of Iran’s next generation of leaders, growing up educated and exposed to sneak previews of what a little freedom can offer.  The new generation wants it.  The stuffy old men, controlling Amadinejad, cannot kill them all.  Their childish behavior only fans the flames for Iran’s future.  Government can only suppress its population for so long before it backfires.  Using religion as a weapon to suppress free thought, in the age of mass communication, spells downfall.  Will Shirin Ebadi, an icon in the international peace movement, end up like Aung San Suu Kyi?  Will the economically distracted world stand by and write her off as “such a shame” and send weak diplomatic protests to the oppressors?  Is peace just not economical anymore?  It seems that today’s global repositioning and asset grabbing encourages civil strife, to reduce populations that political bullies expect to deal with in the future.  World peace is challenged every day, seeds of defiance are being sown with every casualty tallied in the name of democracy or in the name of any religion, control is the name of the game. Collateral damage changes mindset, the most dangerous byproduct is revenge at any cost. Revenge grows exponentially.  “Peace mongers” are derided and looked upon as a threat to government control.  Suppression becomes more blatant when governments feel threatened by efforts for democracy and human rights. Extraordinary individuals who protect and empower the world’s most vulnerable populations. Dr. Shirin Ebadi exemplifies these attributes, especially in her efforts to confront challenges faced by women around the world.

Shirin Ebadi Nobel Peace Prize speaks to BBC about medal seizure

The medal and accompanying diploma were taken from a bank box in Tehran about three weeks ago on the orders of Iran’s Revolutionary Court, she said.

Iran has denied an accusation by Norway that Tehran has confiscated the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights campaigner, in 2003.   Ramin Mehmanparast, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said:  “We are surprised to see Norwegian authorities taking a tendentious stance and in a hasty attitude ignoring laws and rules which are respected by everyone.”

Shirin Ebadi, human rights lawyer, “The Iranian authorities are not telling the truth because according to our tax laws, there is no tax payable on the Nobel Prize”

Iranian authorities confiscate medal from 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi

By Ian Macdougall (CP)  TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian authorities have confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi’s medal, her lawyer and Norway’s government said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps they are taking against any dissent.

In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize.

Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities – including a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.

The seizure of her prize is an expression of the Iranian government’s harsh approach to anyone it considers an opponent – particularly since the massive street protests triggered by hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed June 12 re-election.


During the past months, hundreds of pro-reform activists have been arrested, and a mass trial has sentenced dozens to prison terms.

In Tehran, Ebadi’s lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, confirmed the medal was confiscated and said it was seized on a September order from a judge at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. The lawyer said she was not aware of the content of the order because the court has not allowed her to study it yet.

“Ebadi’s husband found out some 20 days ago that all medals, including the Nobel one, were confiscated from their safe deposit box,” Sotoudeh said.

Calls to Iranian judiciary officials were not returned Thursday.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called the move “shocking” and said it was “the first time a Nobel Peace Prize has been confiscated by national authorities.”

Ebadi said in an interview published Nov. 17 in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera that her apartment, pension and her bank account and those of her relatives had been seized, along with her Nobel and Legion of Honor.

“I live in an effective state of exile,” she was quoted as saying from a hotel in New York, where she had been attending U.N. meetings. “They say I owe them $410,000 in back taxes because of the Nobel; it’s a complete lie, given that the Iranian fiscal law says that prizes are excluded.”

She nevertheless said she plans to return to Iran when she can be more useful in the country than outside it.

“Nothing frightens me anymore, even if they threaten to arrest me for fiscal evasion upon my return,” she said.

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Norway protests against confiscation of Shirin Ebadi’s Nobel Peace Prize

Norway has reacted strongly to the news that the Iranian authorities have confiscated the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Shirin Ebadi in 2003. The Iranian Chargé d’affaires Has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“This is the first time a Nobel Peace Prize has been confiscated by national authorities. The medal and the diploma have been removed from Dr Ebadi’s bank box, together with other personal items. Such an act leaves us feeling shock and disbelief,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.    (NRK/Press release)   Rolleiv Solholm

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