Iran: police shut independent human rights office

Police in Tehran raided and shut down the office of the Center for Protecting Human Rights, led by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi Dec. 21. Dozens of uniformed police and plainclothes security officials sealed the office in the raid, which came hours before the Center was to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Human Rights Day. The police presented no warrant, a witness said. At the ceremony, the Center was planning to honor a longtime political activist, Taqi Rahmani, who has spent a total of 17 years in prison since the 1979 revolution. The government banned the Center in 2006, but it has continued to operate. (NYT, Dec. 21)

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