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Iranian Lawyer Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo, 10 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in defending human rights and promoting democracy. Ole Danbold Mjoes, head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, praised Ebadi in making the announcement today. He said Ebadi has bravely spoken out for the rights of children and women.

"She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children. As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer, and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond its borders. She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous person, and has never heeded the threats to her own safety."

Ebadi was Iran's first woman judge before she was forced to step down after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

She won from a record field of 165 candidates including Pope John Paul and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

Ebadi told Norway's NRK public television by phone from Paris that the announcement is "very good for human rights in Iran, good for democracy in Iran and especially children's rights in Iran."