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Iran's Nobel Laureate Says Passport Seizure Illegal

Shirin Ebadi (file photo) (AFP) April 17, 2007 (RFE/RL) --Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi says Iranian authorities should return Radio Farda broadcaster Parnaz Azima's passport, Radio Farda reported.

Azima's passport was seized when she arrived in Tehran three months ago to visit a sick relative.

Ebadi, a lawyer representing Azima, told Radio Farda that the move is against Iranian laws.

"The punishments should be based on law, in our laws we don't have any punishment that includes seizing [someone's] passport, especially when the charges against a person are not clear," she said. "The way it has been dealt with Azima is totally against the law."

Ebadi said authorities had not announced charges against her client. All Azima's efforts to get her Iranian passport back have so far failed.

Azima is a broadcaster with Radio Farda, the Persian-language service run jointly by RFE/RL and Voice of America.

RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin has called on the Iranian authorities to allow Azima to leave "without further delay."

Radio Farda's Persian-Language Website

Radio Farda's Persian-Language Website

UPDATED CONSTANTLY: Visit RFE/RL's Persian-language website, featuring news, analysis, features, streaming audio, and more, in Persian, from Radio Farda.


RFE/RL's English-language coverage of Iran.