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Iranian activist wins Nobel Peace prize

OSLO, Norway, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The 2003 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi for her work in promoting democracy and human rights in Iran and beyond.

"As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond its borders," the Nobel committee said in a statement.

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It noted Ebadi was a practicing Muslim who saw no conflict between Islam and human rights. It said it hoped Iran's first citizen to win the $1.3 million prize would spur those fighting for human rights and democracy in Iran and beyond.

"I'm a Muslim, so you can be a Muslim and support democracy," Ebadi told Norwegian television, which reached her in Paris. "... It's very good for human rights in Iran ..."

Ebadi, 56, has been imprisoned many times by Iran's theocratic regime. She was one of the country's first woman judges (1975-79) and since the 1977 Islamic revolution has been a human rights activist.

The prize is presented Dec. 10 in Oslo. Last year's winner was former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

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