Iran’s Nobel laureate Ebadi says she won’t be voting

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AFP: Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has said she won’t be voting in next month’s presidential election because of the disqualification of large numbers of candidates. “I do not see these elections as free. It is not a
free one because not all the candidates get approved and a number of them are disqualified. AFP

PARIS – Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has said she won’t be voting in next month’s presidential election because of the disqualification of large numbers of candidates.

“I do not see these elections as free. It is not a free one because not all the candidates get approved and a number of them are disqualified. I will not take part in this election,” she told told US-funded Radio Farda.

“And as long as there is supervision (to select candidates), I will not take part in any elections,” Radio Farda’s website quoted Ebadi, currently on a tour of the United States, as saying.

Ebadi was awarded the Nobel peace prize in October 2003 in recognition of her advocacy work for women and children in Iran.

Farsi-language Radio Farda is funded by the US Congress and operated by an agency of the US government. Based in Washington and Prague, it broadcasts into to Iran 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Iran’s clerical regime is facing mounting calls for a boycott of the June 17 election after the hardline Guardians Council — an unelected watchdog that screens all candidates for public office — approved just a handful of a record 1,014 people seeking a chance to succeed incumbent reformist President Mohammad Khatami.