Nobel winner Ebadi urges focus on Iran rights, not nukes

Shirin Ebadi said over 40 journalists are locked up in Iranian jails.

Updated: Jun 11, 2010, 09:07 AM IST

Paris: Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi on Thursday urged the world to stop focusing on Iran`s nuclear programme and instead pressure Tehran over human rights.

The Iranian lawyer and 2003 Nobel laureate threw her support behind a campaign to win the release of political prisoners launched by the FIDH rights group and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

"I call on the international community to stop focusing its attention on the nuclear issue and to take an interest in human rights issues and the ailing democracy in Iran," she said.

Ebadi, who was made an honorary citizen of Paris, said more than 40 journalists are locked up in Iranian jails and accused Tehran of regularly jamming broadcasts from the BBC and Voice of America.

The United Nations Security Council yesterday voted to impose new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.