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A Nobel Laureate in Kolkata's red light district

November 23, 2006

Nobel Peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi Thursday said she was against nuclear proliferation and protested the acquisition of atomic weapons by various countries, including India, in the name of protecting themselves. "What is needed is world peace. No country needs a nuclear bomb," Ebadi, who is on a visit here, said.

Known for her relentless fight for peace and against trafficking and child abuse in Iran, the Nobel laureate asserted that she was totally against nuclear weapons and their acquisition by any country and "that includes Pakistan, India, the US and Iraq." Ebadi also alleged that the US had different standards for Iran and Pakistan on the issue of nuclear energy. "The US can't say that Iran can't have a nuclear programme as it has no democracy as Washington's stand is not the same for Pakistan," she said yesterday.

 Talking to reporters after an interaction with sex workers and their children at an NGO here, Ebadi said the death sentence for former Iraqi tyrant Saddan Hussein was not "timely justice". "I am always against capital punishment," she said. The Nobel laureate also said instead of supplying chemical weapons to Iraq to fight Iran in the 70s and 80s, the US "should have tried to rein in leaders like Saddam Hussein long ago."

Image: Iranian Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi (centre) listens to a translator as she attends an interaction with sex workers in the red light area in Kolkata.

Photographer: Deshkalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images

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