2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi to speak May 10 at Syracuse University College of Law
2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi to speakMay 10 at Syracuse University College of LawApril 28, 2004Nicci Brownnicbrown@syr.edu
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi will speak as a guest of the Syracuse University College of Law, May 10 at 5 p.m., in SU’s Hendricks Chapel. Her presentation, titled “Islam, Democracy and Human Rights,” will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The event is free and open to the public.
Also that day, Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw will present Ebadi with one of the University’s highest honors, the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement. The presentation will be made during a private lunch event. During her visit, Ebadi will also meet with College of Law students and faculty.
Ebadi, who is widely recognized for her work as a reformist lawyer, was recently included on Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. She is the first Iranian-and first Muslim woman-to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Her visit to Syracuse will be one of only a handful of stops during her first U.S. tour since the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded her the Peace Prize in October 2003.
In its statement, the Nobel award committee says it has chosen to honor Ebadi because of her focus on promoting human rights and democracy in her homeland. The committee also pays tribute to her courage, noting that Ebadi has “never heeded the threat to her own safety.”
Born in 1947, Ebadi has worked tirelessly to improve the status of women and children in Iran. She has also used the law to fight for the rights of religious minorities and other victims of government oppression.
Although she acts on the premise that international human rights standards need not contradict the principles of an Islamic society, Ebadi’s work has often brought her into conflict with conservative clerics in Iran. She has continued her advocacy despite detention, suspension from legal practice and repeated threats to her security.
Ebadi graduated with a law degree from the University of Tehran and served as one of Iran’s first female judges from 1975 until 1979, when the Islamic Republic ruled that women were not suitable for such posts. Ebadi then established her own law practice and defended human rights activists. In the 1990s she was the lead attorney on several cases that highlighted the use of violence and repression to silence student protests against government practices.
She has authored a number of books and articles focused on human rights. Among her books translated into English are “The Rights of the Child. A Study of Legal Aspects of Children’s Rights in Iran” (1994), published with support from UNICEF; and “History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran” (2000).