Opposition to Iranian regime 'growing,' claims Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi

Washington, Nov 9 (ANI): Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has said that opposition to the Iranian regime is growing because of an increase in government violence, more human rights abuses and deepening poverty.

The Iranian human rights lawyer, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts to promote democracy, said she has come to the United Nations to talk about the deteriorating human rights situation in her country and seek support for a draft UN General Assembly resolution that would condemn its record.

The Daily Express quoted Ebadi, as saying that although much of the opposition movement has gone underground since the violent crackdown after the disputed June 2009 presidential election, but it definitely was not faltering.

"I can tell you that opposition is increasing in Iran. Not only the government is becoming more violent every day, and there are more violations of human rights, but also the issue of poverty has become another issue now. ... And, of course, poverty plays a big role in opposition," she added.

Ebadi, Ebadi, who lives in the U.K., further claimed of receiving latest statistics, which showed that Iran's economy was growing by just 1.6 percent a year, lower than the rates in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She urged the international community "to bring the voice of the people of Iran and the political prisoners to the outside world", stressing that the human rights situation in Iran "is very bad ... (and) is worsening".

She singled out the case of prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been on a hunger strike since September 25, saying that she had stopped drinking all liquids five days back to protest against her detention in solitary confinement on suspicion of spreading propaganda against the ruling system.

Her arrest in September was seen as a signal of a possible widening crackdown on the pro-reform opposition that took to the streets to protest the victory claimed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the paper added. (ANI)

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