Page last updated at 21:50 GMT, Thursday, 13 January 2005

Nobel winner queries Iran summons

Shirin Ebadi, Iranian Nobel winner
Ebadi is the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Iranian Nobel Peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi has said a judicial order calling on her to appear in court is unlawful.

Ms Ebadi told the BBC the summons, delivered on Thursday, failed to spell out why she must go to the court.

The lawyer and human rights activist, who gained global renown after winning the Nobel prize in 2003, has until Sunday to respond to the summons.

Ms Ebadi's defence of dissidents has brought her into frequent confrontation with Iran's theocratic authorities.

She recently called for the country's Islamic penal system to be reformed to safeguard human rights.

Arrest risk

Ms Ebadi told the BBC she has not yet decided whether or not to respond to the court order, but will reach a decision by Saturday.

"The court order is against Iranian law," she said. "It should clarify why they are calling me and in relation to what case."

The 57-year-old Ms Ebadi faces arrest if she refuses to respond to the summons.

Since winning the Nobel Prize, Ms Ebadi has complained of increased threats against her and has been placed under police protection.

First woman judge

Ms Ebadi came to prominence when she was appointed Iran's first woman judge. That distinction was removed after the revolution.

In 2000, she was accused of distributing the videotaped confession of a hardliner who claimed that prominent conservative leaders were instigating physical attacks on pro-reform figures.

She received a suspended jail sentence and a professional ban for this.

Recently, she has represented the family of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photographer murdered in custody in 2003.

Iran orders Nobel winner to court
13 Jan 05 |  Middle East
Iranian Nobel winner sues the US
02 Nov 04 |  Middle East
Iran Nobel winner gets hero's welcome
14 Oct 03 |  Middle East
Peace award divides Iran
11 Oct 03 |  Middle East
Nobel winner's plea to Iran
10 Oct 03 |  Middle East
Profile: Shirin Ebadi
27 Nov 09 |  Middle East

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific