Closure of Nobel laureate’s human rights organisation condemned

first_img IranMiddle East – North Africa Organisation RSF_en December 22, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Closure of Nobel laureate’s human rights organisation condemned June 11, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts Follow the news on Iran Help by sharing this information News June 9, 2021 Find out more Newscenter_img Iran is stepping up pressure on journalists, including foreign journalists, in run-up to election Reporters Without Borders condemns yesterday’s closure of the Tehran-based Human Rights Defenders Centre by some 20 plain-clothes police. Headed by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and launched in 2002, the centre provided free legal aid to journalists and human rights activists. “We urge the international community and human rights activists to press for the reopening of the centre,” Reporters Without Borders said. “After the imprisonment of six journalists and intimidatory measures against those who express their views online, this is a new attempt by the regime to silence its critics. We fear further arrests. The circle must be able to continue to defend those who use their right to free speech and those who defend that right. We call for it to be allowed to reopen.” The police raided and closed the centre as Ebadi, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2003, was about to preside a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Run by lawyers and human rights activists, the centre defends free speech and human rights. The government has regarded its activities as “illegal” since 2006. Ebadi told Reporters Without Borders today that “a request for a permit was submitted to the interior ministry as soon as the circle was created, but it was always turned down.” She added that the circle intended to challenge the closure. “We will exhaust all legal channels in an attempt to affirm our rights,” she said. Reporters Without Borders has meanwhile learned that intelligence officials arrested blogger Esmail Jafari ( on 18 December. Jafari was sentenced to five months in prison on 6 December in the southwestern city of Bushehr for covering a demonstration in April by about 20 workers protesting against their dismissal. It is not known where he is held. Officials have confirmed that blogger and women’s rights activist Shahnaz Gholami ( has been transferred to a prison in the northwestern city of Tabriz, where she had been held with common criminals since 9 November. Neither her lawyer nor her daughter has been able to see her. Iran is one of the world’s most repressive countries towards journalists and bloggers, who are punished severely if they criticise the government. Three cyber-dissidents and six journalists are currently in prison. Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 News to go further IranMiddle East – North Africa News Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists March 18, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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