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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-11-08 15:28:18
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Iran's Ebadi criticizes Rouhani's rights record

November 08, 2013 - Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi has strongly criticized the human rights record of President Hassan Rouhani, citing a dramatic increase in executions since he took office this year and accusing the government of lying about the release of political prisoners. She also pointed to spreading support for a hunger strike by human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani and three others in a Tehran prison to protest inadequate medical care, which was joined on Monday by about 80 prisoners at another prison west of the capital. Ebadi, a U.S.-based human rights lawyer who since 2009 has lived outside Iran in self-exile, said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press 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 won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy, becoming the first Iranian and first Muslim woman to win the prize.
Ebadi's comments also underscore Iran's internal tensions between Rouhani's government and hard-liners opposing diplomatic initiatives that include groundbreaking overtures to Washington. After Rouhani and President Barack Obama held an historic phone call during the Iranian leader's September trip to the United Nations in New York, Iran's supreme leader hinted that he disapproved, though he reiterated his crucial support for Rouhani's general policy of outreach to the West.


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