Shirin Ebadi photo
Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Prizer Winner
joins battle against Treasury Department for Free Speech. The Iranian human rights activist has filed suit against the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC),in federal court in New York, because regulations prohibit the publication of a book she wants to write about her life and her work for readers in the Unites States.
The regulations were first challenged in a lawsuit filed on September 27, 2004, by the association of American Publishers Professional and Schlarly Publishind division (AAP/PSP), the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), PEN American Center (PEN), and Arcade Publishing. The OFAC regulations forbid the publication of many books and articles by authors in Iran, Cuba and Sudan.
In her court filing, Ms. Ebdi decries the “enforced silence” the OFAC regulations impose, calling it “a critical missed opportunity both for Americans to learn more about my country and its people from a variety of Iranian voices and for a better understanding to be achieved between our two countries”. She argues in her suit that restrictions on the publication of books by authors in countries subject to US sanctions are unconstitutional.
Can we call United States of America a free country when there are regulations which not allow the free speech ? Adionally, when the author forbidden is only the Nobel Peace Prize Winner?
Shirin Ebadi is famous as the first female judge in Iran. She had to resign her position following the revolution in 1979, when conservative Islamic clerics took control of the country and introduced severe restrictions on the role of women in society.
You can know more about Shirin Ebadi in: