Individual rights are strangers who have never knocked on the door of the Iranian government since the religious clerics who run the nation regard anyone who disagrees with their world view to be either an unbeliever or heretic. Iranian police shut down the offices of Nobel Peace Laureate and lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, as part of a nation wide crackdown against human rights activists. Ebadi was told by police to leave the premises and not to return. A government agency argued Ms. Ebadi’s human rights group did not have a permit from the Interior Ministry to operate. It would be unusual for an Interior Ministry to issue permission to an organization which regards its behavior as illegal and in violation of international law regarding freedom of speech. The police ransacked the offices and insulted those who worked for human rights.
Shirin Ebadi and a small group of lawyers have been fighting for human rights against an entire government structure that regards such activities as illegal. She has criticized the Iranian criminal code as in violation of basic Islamic views on women and their rights.