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(AFP)

Nobel Prize to Shirin Ebadi

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NOBEL INSTITUTE (TV 2 Nettavisen): The Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 2003.

The announcement was made by Professor Ole Danbolt Mjøs, the Nobel committee’s chairman, Friday at 11 a.m.

“The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize 2003 is to be awarded to Shirin Ebadi for her work for democracy and human rights,” Mjøs said.

Shirin Ebadi was Iran’s first female lawyer. She was awarded the price for her work for democracy and particularly women’s and children’s rights. Only 10 women have won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize before, and this is the first time since 1997 that a woman has been awarded the prize.

“Ebadi is a brave woman has never allowed the concern for her own safety stand in her way of her work,” Mjøs said in his speech.

On the question if this was a hard decision, Mjøs answered:

“It is always hard to find the right candidate, but it was not particularly hard this year.”

Front figure

Shirin Ebadi became known as the Iran’s first female judge. She had to withdraw from her position as a result of the revolution in 1979 when the conservative clergy took over the governing of the country, and instituted restrictions on women’s access to society.

According to the statement issued in connection with the Rafto price Ebadi was awarded in 2001, Ebadi has been the front figure of Iran’s human rights work in the years after the revolution. She as been active in the fight for women’s and children’s rights, and she has been a defender of persons who have been denied their human rights.

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