After the official Iranian news agency IRNA two weeks ago officially accused the daughter of Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, the winner of the 2003 Nobel to have converted to Bahaism, voices have raised to express “serious concerns” for the life of the Iranian lawyer and human rights campaigner.
Paris, 4 Sept. (IPS) After the official Iranian news agency IRNA two weeks ago officially accused the daughter of Mrs. Shirin Ebadi, the winner of the 2003 Nobel to have converted to Bahaism, voices have raised to express “serious concerns” for the life of the Iranian lawyer and human rights campaigner.
Those worries are very serious because Baha’ism is a religion the Iranian clerical corps regards it as “heresy” and not only are officially forbidden in the Islamic Republic of Iran, but also Baha’is, besides being subject to extreme violence by the Government, including prison and possibly death, have no rights to citizenship.
The charges came after Mrs. Ebadi decided to accept defending seven Baha’is arrested three months ago.
The charges by IRNA and newspapers like Keyhan and Iran (edited by IRNA) came after Mrs. Ebadi decided to accept the request of the families of seven Baha’is arrested three months ago to defend them with two other colleagues, Mr. Abdolfattah Soltani and Mr. Esma’ilzadeh to defend them.
Therefore, the accusations against the daughter of Mrs. Ebadi, who is a university student at Canada’s McGill University, of belonging to the Baha’i religion and herself to “protect the Baha’is” and get orders from the Israelis and the Americans, accusations that have been carried by several pro-Government media, including Keyhan, a radical newspaper reflecting the views of the leader of the regime, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, must be taken very seriously.
“Who does not know that a Muslim's conversion to Baha’ism is enough to make him or her deserve death (according to this standard) and who does not know that Iran's penal laws are so favorable to murderers that they essentially do not regard victims to be significant”, says Mrs. Mehrangiz Kaar, a well-known Iran lawyer who is in the United States for health reasons.
"Regardless of other accusations that have also been aired, the news agency report is worrisome and demonstrates a threatening net cast in Shirin Ebadi's path. It seems that those behind the story want to puncture the protective umbrella that the 2003 Nobel Peace prize brought for Ebadi”.
According to Mrs. Kaar, “it is obvious” that those who are preparing the grounds for the assassination of Mrs. Ebadi wants” to convince ignorant forces that “her death is necessary”.
“Any Muslim who takes her life is not punished, and perhaps goes to heaven”, she told the independent Iranian internet daily “RoozOnline”, adding:”They also want to frighten Mrs. Ebadi to abandon all human rights-related activities or even leave the country.
What is interesting is that the vicious and dangerous charges against the human rights activist who recently founded the Iranian Council for Peace with several other colleagues and reformist personalities backfired, as several lawyers, journalists and even the Grand dissident Ayatollah Hoseynali Montazeri or the journalist Ahmad Zeydabadi urged the clerical-led authorities to provide the Baha’is the same rights other Iranians enjoys.
“Though the Baha’i religion is forbidden for many reasons, but Iranian Baha’is must have the same rights the Constitution grants to all Iranians’, the Grand Ayatollah, the highest Shi’a Muslims authority said recently in answer to questions about the situation of the Baha’I community in the Islamic Republic.
In an interview with the same pro-reform internet newspaper, edited in Paris and in London, the first Iranian woman to be awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize expressed her fears that both Keyhan newspaper and the state run IRNA were “laying the groundwork” for her assassination.
Rooz: Do they intend to kill you?
Shirin Ebadi - Yes. By spreading such rumors that I have changed my religion (whose punishment by the standards of religious extremists is death), that I work with the enemy, that I am a CIA agent, etc, they are providing their supporters the excuse to engage in my physical elimination and assassination. Specifically, they are invoking article 295 of the Islamic penal code which had been used in the past assassinations (including the attempt on the life of Sa’id Hajjarian, a reformist considered as the architect of Mohammad Khatami’s surprise election in 1997, who was shot and condemned to wheel chair after operations.)
It is obvious” that those who are preparing the grounds for the assassination of Mrs. Ebadi wants” to convince ignorant forces that “her death is necessary
“Those who disagree with my work and the principles that I stand for will use any method to engage in character assassination against me and thus prepare the groundwork for my physical assassination. There are provisions in the Islamic penal code that facilitate such murder. Para 2 of Article 295 of the code says that if a person deserves to be killed, and can be proven so, then the perpetrators are treated leniently and only have to pay blood money to the victim’s family”, she pointed out.
Asked to explain the reasons for these attacks by pro-Government media, Mrs. Ebadi says one of the reasons is that “those who use state funds and media resources against me and publish these false news” are angry that she defends cases involving dissidents, political and ideological issues, the case of Zahra Bani Yaghoub,(a female doctor found dead after getting out of prison) of Zahra Kazemi, (the Iranian-Canadian photojournalist murdered in prison by her interrogators, those involving the serial murders (murder of popular politicians and intellectuals at the hands of the regime’s intelligence apparatus in the late 1990s), Ezat Ebrahimnejad (the victim of the Tehran University unrest), etc. ENDS EBADI 4908