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Ebadi dedicates Democracy award to detained filmmakers

۱ خرداد ۱۳۸۹

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Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi dedicated her Bonn International Democracy Award to detained Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Nourizad. Ebadi received the prize, which includes a monetary prize of 10,000 euros, from the Chairman of the awarding body Eric Betterman, Deutsche Welle executive director, in a ceremony attended by over 200 human rights activists as well as political and cultural figures in Bonn. Eric Betterman announced that this award is an expression of “solidarity with the democratic movement in Iran.” Werner Hoyer, German Deputy Foreign Minister made the opening speech commending Shirin Ebadi’s “courage and perseverance” in defending the rights of her compatriots under fierce pressure.
Ebadi received the award saying: “The honour of this award goes to the people who in recent years, especially last year, have used all their power to promote democracy in Iran and paid the price with their lives.” She dedicated the award to Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Nourizad and urged Panahi to end his hunger strike in order to continue his “fight” with a healthy body. Jafar Panahi has been incarcerated by the Islamic Republic since March and starting Sunday, he has gone on a hunger strike to protest against the violations of his rights in prison. Mohammad Nourizad has also started a hunger strike since Tuesday after being subjected to violent beatings by prison officials.
Shirin Ebadi also condemned the incarceration of tens of journalists in Iran saying the first step towards democracy is freedom of speech. She also condemned the role of the Guardian Council in creating Iran’s current crisis. She claimed the Council has repeatedly abused its veto privileges against the laws passed by the parliament. Ebadi also condemned the collaboration of foreign companies of Siemens and Nokia with Iranian government in controlling cell phones and text messages. She added: “Western companies completely disregard human rights and freedom of speech in their business agreements.”
She concluded that “the peaceful persistence of people on their rightful demands has paved the way for democracy in Iran and those who have sacrificed their lives in this path will deliver the gift of freedom to their people.”

source: Radio Zamaneh

Tehran Review
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