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Montazeri Receives Award

Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri accepts an award from the Defenders of Human Rights Center on December 11

Cleric Commended By Human Rights Group

The Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran has selected Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri as the human rights activist of the year. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a member of the DHRC, tells Radio Farda about Montazeri's record as a human rights advocate. “Mr. Montazeri is a man who has stood and fought for regulation, right, justice and human freedom during all these years," he says.

Several DHRC members went to Qom to present the award to Montazeri. In this meeting, Narges Mohammadi read a statement praising the cleric's commitment to human rights. Mohammadi cited Montazeri's objection toward irregular executions in 1981 and 1989, his opposition to citizen suppression by police and militia since June's election and his multilateral support for the Green Movement as some of the reasons for honoring him as activist of the year.

In a speech he gave during the visit, Montazeri underscored gravity of the post-election violence and aggression toward protestors: "None of those [aggressive] behaviors are legal." He spoke in opposition to the forced TV confessions of those arrested after the elections and criticized inappropriate treatment of sick prisoners. Montazeri also condemned the November 11 execution of 28-year-old Kurdish political prisoner Ehsan Fattahian, calling it an action against the law.

[listen in Farsi / read Montazeri's speech in Farsi]