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The Peace Prize is no magic wand

A year after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi said the battle for human rights in Iran has not become any easier.

«It has helped me internationally, and opened many doors, but it has not had anything affect on my position in Iran,» said Ebadi to TV 2 Nettavisen.

However, she still said the Peace Prize has had a positive effect as more people choose to get involved in human rights work in Iran.

Ebadi said she does not think the Norwegian involvement in the oil industry in Iran will have any affect on the human rights situation in the country.

«I’m not sure the companies were thinking about human rights when the agreements were signed, only profit,» Ebadi said.

Ebadi continued by stating that the most important contribution of Norway and other western counties is reporting the situation in the media.

«I am very pleased by the establishment of a human rights’ house in Iran,» Ebadi said to TV 2 Nettavisen.

This year the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Wangari Maathai. Ebadi claims the two last awards is a merit to women all over the world.

«It is support to women in Iran and women in all Muslim countries,» Ebadi explained. «The prizes have given them more confidence. It is the best results of this.»

Bush administration
Ebadi participates on the conference «Activists under attack. Defending the Right to be a Human Rights Defender» at the Norwegian branch of the Human Rights House Network. The conference marks the 10-year jubilee for the establishment of an international network of human right houses.

One of the main topics during the conference is whether or not the Bush administration’s war against terror has made the struggle for human rights more difficult in many countries. However, Ebadi is careful when she speaks of the American election.

«When a country is at war, a new president is seldom elected,» Ebadi said. «If the election is viewed in a historical perspective, I think Bush wins.»


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