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Award for anti-stoning activist

2009-11-09 21:17

The Hague - Iranian lawyer and journalist Shadi Sadr was awarded a Dutch human rights prize on Monday, worth up to €110 000, for her fight against stoning as punishment, the Dutch foreign ministry said.

She received the Human Rights Tulip from Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen at a ceremony in The Hague.

"Shadi Sadr receives the Human Rights Tulip for her extraordinary courage, determination and work in a climate of... repeated human rights violations," said a ministry statement.

Sadr is a co-founder of the advocacy group Stop Stoning Forever, it said, which seeks to protect women against this form of punishment for having extra-marital sex.

She has been repeatedly threatened and arrested for her work as a critical journalist and women's rights-focused family lawyer, added the ministry.

The award comes with a €10 000 euro cash reward, on top of which the Dutch state would sponsor a project of her choice to the tune of another €100 000.

Receiving her prize, Sard urged western governments to put pressure on Iran.

"It is necessary that the issue of human rights in Iran remains on the table of negotiations alongside the issue of nuclear energy," she said in a prepared speech.

Also, "all those who have ordered the widespread and systematic violation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran should be prosecuted and tried.

"Western governments, including the Dutch government as the host of the International Criminal Court, can ask the UN Security Council to pursue the issue of crimes against humanity through setting up an international court for Iran," she said.