Dutch Member of European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) has nominated Iranian human rights activist and journalist Shadi Sadr for the Sakharov Prize, an important award that is granted to a humanrights activist each year by the European Parliament.
Dutch Member of European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) has nominated Iranian human rights activist and journalist Shadi Sadr for the Sakharov Prize, an important award that is granted to a humanrights activist each year by the European Parliament. Ms. Sadr is a brave defender of human rights in Iran. As a lawyer and journalist she focuses in particular on ending the death penalty and stoning, as well as on women's rights and equality. She legally represents women accused of ‘moral crimes' and her passion is to end capital punishment, beginning with the elimination of all executions by stoning. Shadi Sadr has also bravely spoken out on the dire position Iranian women face daily. In the patriarchal culture most laws towards women are heavily bias; if existent at all. In fear of repression, many girls commit suicide, or burn themselves. In a society under an oppressive regime, she has been an advocate for equity in divorce laws and the position of women in the job market. Shadi Sadr, is both a lawyer and journalist, was the director of Raahi, a legal advice centre for women until it was closed in March 2007. She set up Zanan-e Iran (Women of Iran), the first website dedicated to the work of Iranian women's rights activists and she has written extensively about Iranian women and their legal rights. Mrs. Sadr is a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters. Before court, she has represented activists and journalists as well as several women sentenced to death, some of whose convictions were subsequently overturned. She is also involved in the Stop Stoning Forever Campaign. Shadi Sadr was previously detained on 4 March 2007 during a protest about the trial of five women's rights activists in Tehran. Most recently, Ms. Sadr was violently arrested again in Tehran, in mid July, on her way to prayers. She was walking with a group of women's rights activists along a busy road when unidentified plain-clothed men pulled her into a car and put her in prison. She was subsequently released on bail in late July of this year. Being out on bail makes her position particularly fragile in relation to the Iranian government. Justification for Nomination The world was focused on the way the Iranian government beat down, tortured and killed its own citizens who spoke out for democracy. Yet there are endless silent, anonymous struggles that paved the way for the people's massive outcries, and there will be many to come, on the way to a free Iran. Ms. Sadr has been championing fundamental rights for years under the repressive Iranian regime. As a lawyer and journalist, she has risked her life for human rights, free expression, and the position of women from access to school to protection against violence. The fight of Ms. Sadr stands as a symbol for emancipation, equality and fundamental rights for oppressed people all over the world.