Iran: An open letter from Shirin Ebadi

Shirin Ebadi
There is a very important matter I would like to discuss with you. I conduct my human rights activities through the Defender of Human Rights Center (DHRC). Two days ago the government of Iran announced that the center is illegal.
This center is a member of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and has been registered there. It has also been awarded a human rights prize by the Human Rights National Commission in France. This center is very well known and credible in Iran.
I am the president of this center and we have three important responsibilities:
  1. We report the violations of human rights that take place in Iran.
  2. We defend political prisoners pro bono -- about 70% of the political prisoners in Iran are clients of our center and we do not charge them for our services.
  3. We support the families of these prisoners both financially -- if they require financial aid -- and spiritually.
Two days ago the government of Iran announced that this center is illegal and provided we continue our activities, they shall arrest us. Of course me and the other members of the center do not intend to shut down the center and we shall continue our activities. However, there is a high possibility that that they will arrest us. The government's action in this regard is illegal.

Therefore, I kindly request that you broadcast this message by all means and gather spiritual support for our center. This center has been established and working for more than four years now. I believe this decision of the government has been triggered by my memoir being published. In any case, I am happy that my memoir has been published, for the truth must be told.

Many thanks,

Shirin Ebadi