The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Prize laureates Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams, and Jody Williams. These women—representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa-bring together their extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality. Their goal is to meaningfully contribute to building peace by working together with women around the world. Please visit them online to learn more about their work: www.nobelwomensinitiative.org. Urgent Action for Iranian Human Rights Leader Dr. Shirin Ebadi
This column is provided by The Nobel Women's Initiative
The escalating threats and intimidation against Dr. Shirin Ebadi in Iran calls for urgent action.
In the face of increasing threats and intimidation, Dr. Ebadi remains courageously determined to stay in Iran to defend fellow human rights advocates. She needs your support.
Join the international community in demanding the Iranian government put an end to the intimidation against Dr. Shirin Ebadi and other human rights defenders. Click HERE to find the Iranian representative/embassy in your country. Write and urge them to secure the safety and protection of Dr. Ebadi and other human rights activists, so they may continue their critical work in Iran free from fear.
Make sure the United Nations takes action as well. Write to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, and ask that she appoint a special investigator to look into the intimidation and harassment of Dr. Shirin Ebadi. Click HERE for a letter to Ms. Pillay from Nobel Peace Laureates.
On December 21, 2008, Iranian security forces raided and closed the Defenders of Human Rights Center and the Center for Participation in Clearing Mined Areas, both founded by Dr. Ebadi.
On December 29, government officials raided Dr. Ebadi's private law office and seized her computers and confidential case files. Officials justified confiscation on pretense of investigations regarding tax evasion, despite Dr. Ebadi having been cleared by tax officials just days earlier.
On the morning of January 1, 2009, a mob of 150 men attacked the building that houses both Dr. Ebadi's home and office. Dr. Ebadi called police to the scene, who arrived only to stand by and watch. The mob chanted and spray-painted accusations against Dr. Ebadi across the exteriors, vandalizing her home and office, and attempted to kick down the door. The police did not intervene.
Dr. Ebadi is a human rights lawyer and an activist for peace. She has faced constant public defamation for her work in Iran, as well as countless threats on her life and personal safety. In August 2008, these threats extended to her daughter. Other human rights defenders suffer the increasing persecution as well. Additionally, the recent seizure of Dr. Ebadi's confidential case files also puts the safety of Dr. Ebadi's clients in jeopardy.
Read Nobel Laureates Alarmed at Increased Persecution of Iranian Laureate in Nobel Women's Initiative News.
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The Nobel Women's Initiative was established in 2006 by sister Nobel Peace Laureates Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi, Wangari Maathai, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan Maguire. We six women -- representing North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa -- have decided to bring together our extraordinary experiences in a united effort for peace with justice and equality.
Only 12 women in its more than 100 year history have been recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Peace Prize is a great honor, but it is also a great responsibility. It is this sense of responsibility that has compelled us to create the Nobel Women’s Initiative to help strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world - work often carried out in the shadows with little recognition.
We believe that peace is much more than the absence of armed conflict. Peace is the commitment to equality and justice; a democratic world free of physical, economic, cultural, political, religious, sexual and environmental violence and the constant threat of these forms of violence against women – indeed against all of humanity.
It is the heartfelt mission of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to address and work to prevent the root causes of violence by spotlighting and promoting the efforts of women’s rights activists, researchers and organizations working to advance peace, justice and equality. By sharing a platform with these women, the NWI will spotlight their tireless work to prevent violence against women. By helping to advance the cause of women, we believe we advance all of humanity.
United by our desire to combat all forms of violence against women in all circumstances, we also recognize that specific issues for women vary around the world. One element of our work will be to sponsor international meetings of women every two years -- in a different region of the world -- to highlight issues of concern to women there. The objective of these meetings is to underscore our commonalities and differences by providing inclusive and energizing forums that ensure meaningful dialogue and networking by women’s rights activists around the world -- but with a view to action.
It is our commitment to action that brings us together. Therefore, our meetings will be linked with concrete work in the target region leading up to the conference, along with post-conference plans of action to address the issues addressed at the conference. In this way, the Nobel Women’s Initiative will support meaningful work on the ground.
We believe profoundly in the sharing of information and ideas. By networking and working together rather than in competition, we enhance the work of all. The Nobel Women’s Initiative is committed to supplementing and enhancing existing work and is determined to avoid duplicating the work of others. We want to open new ground for discussion, debate and change.
We hope you share our excitement about the potential of the Nobel Women’s Initiative to meaningfully contribute to building peace with justice and equality by working together with women around the world.
For more information, visit www.nobelwomensinitiative.org