Oslo (Fides Service) – The Nobel Peace prize 2003 has been awarded to Iranian layer Ms Shirin Ebadi for her commitment to defending families of writers and intellectuals killed in 1998-1999. Persecuted for the investigation she was carrying out in 2000 she was tried in secret for producing and diffusing a cassette on the suppression of student protest in July 1999, material which the prosecution said was “disturbing for public opinion”.
Ms Ebadi, 56, is a well-known lawyer noted especially for promoting the rights of women and children by seeking changes in Iran's divorce and inheritance laws. Ms Ebadi was the first female judge in her country, but was forced to resign following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
The Nobel statement said: “As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond”. In previous years the Nobel for peace was assigned to Kim Dae Jung 2000, the United Nations Organisation 2001, Jimmy Carter 2002.
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