Nobel winner Ebadi pleads for human rights in Iran
Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Shirin Ebadi issued a plea Friday for the protection of human rights in her homeland saying the situation in the country was " deteriorating rapidly.", dpa reported.
"Every year we have taken a step backward rather than forward," Ebadi said in Geneva.
The 62-year-old lawyer, who won the Nobel in 2003, was in Geneva ahead of a periodic review of Iran's rights record at the United Nations Human Rights Council next week.
"Tomorrow we will be facing a tragedy in Iran," she warned, issuing an impassioned plea for international assistance.
"Please help us, please help us to restore calm," Ebadi said, asking rhetorically: "for how long can you ask our young people to stay calm and not resort to violence?"
She accused Russia and China of helping Iran circumvent sanctions and also said some publicly traded companies were involved in providing services to Tehran which were used to monitor communications and suppress human rights activists.
Ebadi singled out a communications system sold to Tehran by Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone maker, and Siemens, the German engineering firm.
Nokia did not return requests for a response.
A Siemens spokesperson, contacted by the German Press Agency dpa said that the company "will not be accepting any new orders from Iran from the middle of 2010, at the latest."
Ebadi, speaking through an interpreter, expressed optimism, however, for the "victory" of the opposition, which has been dubbed the "green movement."
"I am certain the people will be victorious and democracy will be realized in Iran," the Nobel laureate said, adding that "Iran must first go through a process and I cannot tell you how long it will take."