Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights advocate Shadi Sadr has dedicated her “Women of Courage Award,” given by the U.S. State Department, to jailed human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari.
In a statement
and audio message, Sadr says that she is dedicating the award to Nazar Ahari because “her courage has been exceptional and deserving of worldwide recognition.”
The award ceremony
is due to take place later today at the U.S. State Department where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will present the awards.
Sadr, who has been jailed in Iran for her human rights activities, says that she decided not to attend the ceremony with the hope that her absence will turn the attention of the international community to the “dire situation” of Nazar Ahari:
Shiva, one of the world’s most courageous women, who herself worked tirelessly in defense of the rights of political prisoners, is herself in a small prison cell, and deprived of having even a pen and paper or meeting with a lawyer, and is kept blind-folded.
Nazar Ahari was arrested shortly after last year’s disputed presidential vote. She was released on bail (for a exorbitant sum) after spending more than three months in jail. She was arrested again in December and has reportedly been under pressure to make a false confession and admit to being a "mohareb."
Here is a link to a December video interview with Nazar Ahari