Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Help Sharmila live: Shirin Ebadi

Help Sharmila live: Shirin Ebadi

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Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Iranian Nobel Laureate and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi on Monday said that if anything untoward happened to Irom Chanu Sharmila, Parliament, the executive, the courts, the armed forces and the media would be responsible for it. Ms. Ebadi had met Ms. Sharmila, who is on a hunger strike demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Manipur, on Sunday at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences here.

Talking to journalists at the Indian Women Press Corps here, Ms. Ebadi said: "If Sharmila dies Parliament would be responsible for that. Sharmila only has a little demand of having a just tribunal. Help her live."

Ms. Ebadi charged journalists with not reporting human rights violations in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.

"Go there and see for yourself what is happening there." Replying to a query, Ms. Ebadi said everyone had the right to criticise human rights violations in her country and she reserved the same right for herself when she talked about Kashmir or Manipur. "The reports of the Amnesty International and other human rights watchdogs are not an interference. But human rights is also an international issue," she said, admitting that rights violation and gender discrimination was a reality in Iran.

About her Indian experience she said there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor. "It cannot be justice if a few people are rich and so many others go hungry."


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