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Iran: Nobel Prize Winner Calls For End To Islamic Punishment

Paris, 11 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi wants Iran to stop applying Islamic punishments for crimes, including stoning and amputation of limbs, and says the country needs radical reforms. In an interview published in today's edition of the French daily "Le Monde," the Iranian lawyer and activist says she hopes her prize will encourage human rights campaigners in Iran.

She also says Iranians are "profoundly disappointed" by Iran's Islamic Revolution and calls for political, social, economic, and civil-rights reforms.

The 56-year-old Ebadi yesterday became the first Muslim woman ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of children and women.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami's reformist government has congratulated Ebadi, but the country's conservative leaders have criticized the Nobel Committee for awarding its peace prize to the human-rights lawyer.