For human rights and democracy
Nobel committee statement on Shirin Ebadi
October 10, 2003
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has
decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003 to Shirin Ebadi
for her efforts for democracy
and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle
for the rights of women and children.
As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist,
she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran,
and far beyond
its borders. She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous
person, and has never heeded the threats to her own safety.
Her principal arena is the struggle for basic
human rights, and no society deserves to be labelled civilized
of women and children are respected. In an era of violence,
she has consistently supported non-violence.
It is fundamental
her view that the supreme political power in a community
must be built on democratic elections. She favours enlightenment
and dialogue as the best path to changing attitudes and
Ebadi is a conscious Moslem. She sees no conflict
between Islam and fundamental human rights. It is important to
dialogue between the different cultures and religions of
the world should take as its point of departure their shared
It is a pleasure for the Norwegian Nobel Committee
to award the Peace Prize to a woman who is part of the Moslem
whom that world can be proud - along with all who fight
for human rights wherever they live.
During recent decades, democracy and human rights
have advanced in various parts of the world. By its awards of
Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has attempted
up this process.
We hope that the people of Iran will feel joyous
that for the first time in history one of their citizens has
the Nobel Peace Prize, and we hope the Prize will be
an inspiration for all those who struggle for human
rights and democracy
in her country, in the Moslem world, and in all countries
the fight for human rights needs inspiration and support.
Oslo, 10 October 2003
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