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Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Calls For Dismissal Of Judiciary Head

Iranian rights activist Shirin Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 (file photo)

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has called for the sacking of the head of Iran's judiciary for being directly responsible for "all injustices, corruption, and insecurity" in the judicial system and in the country.

Ebadi, a co-founder and the president of the Center for Human Rights Defenders (DHRC), called on Iranian rights activists "to say no" to Judiciary head Sadegh Larijani and demand his dismissal.

The center said in a January 5 statement that under Larijani the judiciary was "overseeing a miscarriage of justice" in the "name of religion or under the excuse of national security."

Ebadi, who lives in exile mainly in the United States and Britain, told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that instead of being independent, Iran's judiciary has turned into "one of the branches of the intelligence ministry."

Under Larijani, the arrest and pressuring of activists, intellectuals, and rights defenders has continued and the number of executions has increased.

"Civil and social activists, researchers and thinkers who express criticism are condemned to lengthy prison sentences, torture and harassment, while criminals, serial killers and those involved in embezzlement are enjoying worldly pleasures under the shadows of a corrupted judicial system," the center headed by Ebadi said.

The DHRC has continued to issue reports on Iran's rights situation since it was raided and shut down in 2008.