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November 27, 2009

Norway: Nobel Peace Prize Seized from Shirin Ebadi’s Bank Box

The Norwegian government said today that Shirin Ebadi’s 2003 Nobel Peace Prize medal and diploma have been removed from her bank box by Iranian authorities. More from CNN:

“The medal and the diploma have been removed from Dr. Ebadi’s bank box, together with other personal items. Such an act leaves us feeling shock and disbelief,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said in a written statement.
Norway did not explain how it had learned of the alleged confiscation, and there was no immediate reaction from Iran.
“Such an act leaves us feeling shock and disbelief,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said in a written statement.
Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a written statement that it “has reacted strongly” and summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires on Wednesday afternoon to protest the move.
During the meeting with the Iranian charge d’affaires, State Secretary Gry Larsen also expressed “grave concern” about how Ebadi’s husband has allegedly been treated.
“Earlier this autumn, he [Ebadi’s husband] was arrested in Tehran and severely beaten. His pension has been stopped and his bank account has been frozen,” the statement from Norway said.
Store said in the statement that it marked the “first time a Nobel Peace Prize has been confiscated by national authorities.”
Ebadi received the prize for her focus on human rights, especially on the struggle to improve the status of women and children.

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