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Nobel Peace Prize for Shirin Ebadi
October 10, 2003 14:40 IST
Last Updated: October 10, 2003 18:24 IST
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003 to Shirin Ebadi for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children.
She is the first Iranian to win this prestigious award.
As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country and far beyond its borders. She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous person, and has never heeded the threats to her own safety, the committee said.
Her principal arena is the struggle for basic human rights, and no society deserves to be labelled civilized unless the rights of women and children are respected. In an era of violence, she has consistently supported non-violence. It is fundamental to her view that the supreme political power in a community must be built on democratic elections. She favours enlightenment and dialogue as the best path to changing attitudes and resolving conflict.
Ebadi is a conscious Muslim. She sees no conflict between Islam and fundamental human rights. It is important to her that the dialogue between the different cultures and religions of the world should commence from their shared values.
By its awards of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has attempted to speed up the process of the spread of democracy and human rights in various parts of the world.
The committee hopes that the Peace Prize will be an inspiration for all those who struggle for human rights and democracy in Iran, in the Muslim world, and in all countries where the fight for human rights needs inspiration and support.
EXTERNAL LINK: The Norwegian Nobel Committee