Nobel medal is returned to Iranian
STOCKHOLM - Scandinavian officials said yesterday that the Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma confiscated by Iran from laureate Shirin Ebadi have been returned, but that her situation remains a “serious concern.’’
The Islamic Republic confiscated the Iranian human rights lawyer’s 2003 Nobel medal and diploma last month, but the ministers said she now has them again. They did not give any details.
“The medal and diploma have now been restored to her, but her situation continues to be serious,’’ Sweden’s Carl Bildt and Norway’s Jonas Gahr Stoere said in the joint statement that come on the day of the annual Nobel Award ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo.
Iranian Embassy officials in Stockholm could not immediately be reached for comment.
The confiscation, which according to Ebadi came on the orders of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, has caused a diplomatic rift between the Islamic Republic and Norway.
In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation of the gold medal was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize, and lodged a complaint with Tehran. Iran in turn summoned Norway’s ambassador, saying the Nordic country had no right to criticize it.
Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to be awarded the peace prize and the first female judge in Iran, won the prize for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities, including threats against her relatives and a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.