Nobel prize winning Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi has had her plan to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upended by the Tehran authorities.
Iranian authorities on Sunday closed the office of the country's main human rights organization, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi.
Dozens of plain-clothes detectives along with local police officers entered the office of the Center for Defenders of Human Rights in Tehran and shut it down hours before a ceremony was to take place commemorating the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights.
Since its founding, the organization has taken on 5,000 pro bono cases defending politically active women, journalists and students, Nargess Mohammadi, a spokesperson for the center said.
On Sunday, guests were still arriving for the ceremony when Ebadi and her colleagues were escorted out of the building by police officers. They had refused to leave their offices for more than an hour.
"This was supposed to be one of the few happy events for activists in Iran," said Asieh Amini, a journalist who focuses on human rights issues and who was planning to attend the celebration as one of approximately 300 invited guests. Amini said guests who did attend were filmed by plain-clothes officers.