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Ebadi urges UN probe of Iran women's rights

[JURIST] Iranian 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi [advocacy website, in Persian; JURIST news archive] said Monday that she has urged UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official website; JURIST news archive] to investigate allegations that the Iranian government has been detaining women's rights activists and charging them with national security offenses. Ebadi, who says that approximately 50 activists have been detained for advocating women's rights, is asking Arbour to dispatch a special rapporteur to Iran.

Ebadi, currently representing Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari [WWC profile; JURIST news archive], has also accused the Iranian government of denying Esfandiari access to lawyers. Last Wednesday, Ebadi indicated that national security charges were still pending against Esfandiari after her release on bail [JURIST reports]. She also said that Esfandiari has the right to leave Iran, but cannot do so because her passports have not been returned to her. Reuters has more.

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