Wien, 15. June 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: "A fearless advocate of human rights"

Foreign Minister meets Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi

Vienna, 15 June 2010 - "Shirin Ebadi’s tireless struggle for human, women’s, and children's rights in her country is formidable, and deserves our continuous support. The world needs such personalities, who stand up for their convictions in spite of massive threats to themselves and their families. Frau Ebadi is an important catalyst and a model for the Iranian society", said Foreign Minister Spindelegger after his meeting with the Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi. The Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was presented in the Parliament in Vienna with the Felix Ermarcora human rights award for her struggle for democracy and human rights in her home country.

"In the controversy over the Iranian nuclear dossier, we must not overlook the extremely alarming human rights situation in the country. In particular the rising number of death sentences issued against political activists and the violent repression of minorities such as the Bahá’i and the Kurds is totally unacceptable and stands in stark contradiction to the minimum international human rights standards. This behaviour has been unanimously and strongly condemned by the international community", said the Foreign Minister. "Freedom of opinion, women’s rights, and children’s rights represent universal rights. The Iranian government must meet its obligations from international conventions on fundamental and human rights. There can be no compromises in this area. Repression must come to an end, and political prisoners must be released", concluded Spindelegger.

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