Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The silent revolution

Shirin Ebadi, a bulldoser of Autocrats.
(courtesy of the Associated Press).





Nobel laureate and Iranian human rights lawyer, Shirin Ebadi is railing against Iran's judiciary for giving more lenience to criminals than political dissidents, reports the BBC.

The story at the beginning of this year was on how U.S.-Iranian journalist Parnaz Azima was illegally detained while returning to Iran to visit her mother.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's thugs charged the Radio Farda journalist of "spreading propaganda" on Western airwaves. Azima has since had her passport revoked and had bail set at $500,000.

Ebadi, who has been barred from seeing clients, says Azima's bail is 50 times larger than a confessed rapist. She denounced the situation in a letter to head judge Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi.

Ebadi presents signs that a democratic movement of free speech and individual liberty is alive in Iran.

Her letter is a big deal given the state crackdown. The New York Times reports that Ahmadinejad has sent letters to news editors across Iran warning them not to talk about certain topics, professors were warned about going abroad, and some students have been "disappeared" to prisons.

All the while, Iran's economy is allegedly in a rut as the government hardliners focus on dubious issues. They castigate former moderate President Mohammad Khatami for breaking religious law by shaking an unknown woman's hand. Students are silenced in the interests of national security. !!

Saber rattling by the U.S. administration, hawks and stupid democrats like Lieberman, are only giving Ahmadinejad more of a reason to clamp down.

You know, dumb things like McCain's "Ba Ba Ba, Bomb Iram," are far from the needed soft diplomacy that would recognize dissidents, enact change.

Ebadi has the best retort: "winning an election does not confer the right to rule without respect for human rights."

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