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November 7, 2013 12:13 pm

Iranian Nobel Laureate Ebadi Slams Rouhani’s Human Rights Record

avatar by Zach Pontz

Iranian Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. Photo: Shahram Sharif.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi has sharply criticized Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for his human rights record, in an interview with The Associated Press.

Citing an increase in executions since Rouhani took office earlier this year, and accusing the government of lying about the release of political prisoners, Ebadi pointed to the fact that in the 10 days prior to the interview, which took place Tuesday, 40 people had been executed in the country; and since Rouhani was inaugurated in August, the number of executions had doubled compared with the year before.

Ebadi, a US-based human rights lawyer who has lived in exile since 2009, said that Rouhani may have the reputation of a moderate reformer, but so far “we get bad signals” from the new government when it comes to human rights.

Ebadi also expressed hope that nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers, set to resume Thursday, will lead to the end of U.S.-led sanctions against Iran and resolve the conflict over Tehran’s nuclear program.

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“But I have doubts,” she quickly added, “and I think it’s too early to be optimistic.”

Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy, becoming the first Muslim woman to win the prize.

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