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Iranian Nobel Laureate Dedicates Prize To Jailed Colleague

Narges Mohammadi
Narges Mohammadi
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has dedicated a prestigious human rights prize she received to a recently detained Iranian colleague, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Ebadi received the Felix Ermacora Prize for Human Rights in Vienna on June 15.

Ebadi told Radio Farda after receiving the award that she was dedicating her prize to a former colleague, Narges Mohammadi.

"This courageous woman deserves this award more than I do," Ebadi said.

Mohammadi, deputy head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), was arrested at her home on June 10 by Intelligence Ministry officials in unclear circumstances.

"As human rights defenders in Iran -- unlike their peers in Europe -- work under difficult conditions, granting such awards is a declaration of support and sympathy for them," Ebadi said.

Ebadi is the current head of the DHRC and one of its co-founders.

She added that several of her DHRC colleagues have been jailed since Iran's controversial presidential election last year.

Two of the center's co-founders, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah and Abdolfatah Soltani, were arrested in June 2009 and imprisoned for several months. Journalist and DHRC member Abdolreza Tajik was detained on June 12 for the third time since last year's election.

Ebadi has also been the target of harassment by Iranian authorities in recent years.

"The regime's main problem is my [human] rights activities," Ebadi told Radio Farda. "Yet they have frozen my bank accounts under the illegal pretext of tax evasion on the Nobel Prize."