No Class

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 27, 2009

It is bad enough, of course, that the Islamic regime in Iran is brutally crushing any attempt to protest its theft of the presidential election this past June. But in addition to the repression it is engaging in, the regime is also showing just how cheap and petty it can be:

Iranian authorities have confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi’s medal, the human rights lawyer said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps Tehran is taking against any dissent.

In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation of the gold medal was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize.

Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities – including threats against her relatives and a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.

The seizure of her prize is an expression of the Iranian government’s harsh approach to anyone it considers an opponent – particularly since the massive street protests triggered by hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed June 12 re-election.

Acting on orders from Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, authorities took the peace prize medal about three weeks ago from a safe-deposit box in Iran, Ebadi said in a phone interview from London. They also seized her Legion of Honor and a ring awarded to her by a German association of journalists, she said.

The story also points out that the regime has frozen the Ebadis’ bank and pension accounts, and has beaten Shirin Ebadi’s husband.

In the event that you think this story is not enough to demonstrate the depravity of the regime, consider as well the fact that the regime is now expanding its control of schools in order to ensure that further student protests are nipped at the bud. So much for receiving a decent education in which ideas are freely discussed.

One is reminded of the end of The Lives of Others, when after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and reunification, the main character confronts a former East German official, and expresses his disbelief, at the end of their conversation, that people like him once governed a country.

Previous post:

Next post: