Iran’s Awakening

Shirin Ebadi
Middle East and North Africa
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Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi praises the virtuesof freedom of thought and expression—freedom on which everything else depends. Ebadi argues that in a secular society, religious people should be able to speak; ina religious society, secular people should be able to speak; in a socialist society, capitalists should be able to speak; and in a capitalist society,socialists should be able to speak. In Iran, she laments, minorities have no such power—it is illegal to criticize the constitution, the government blocks all websites that support women’s rights, and the broadcasts of television channels like BBC and Voice of America are jammed. Ebadi asks people living in free societies to use their voices to bring liberty to others and to always remember: “the fate of humanity is intertwined.”

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