TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran has banned an aide to Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi and a peace activist from travelling abroad, Ebadi’s rights group the Human Rights Defenders Centre said on its website on Sunday.
Narges Mohammadi, deputy head of the centre, and Soraya Azizpanah were stopped on Friday at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport as they were headed to Guatemala, the group said.
It said the two women were on way to Guatemala to speak about the role of women in democracy at a conference being held from May 10 to 12.
“They were prevented from travelling after their passports were stamped… and they were about to board,” it said. “Officials seized their passports and they have to report to the revolutionary court.”
The centre founded by five prominent human rights lawyer and headed by Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel peace winner, has faced mounting pressure in recent months and its office was shut down in a police raid in December.
The centre’s former secretary Jinous Sobhani was detained for about two months for links with the banned Bahai faith and released on bail in March.
The group is an outspoken critic of the human rights situation in Iran.
Several Iranian human rights activists have been barred from leaving the country to participate in international conferences or to collect prizes over the past two years.
In March last year, Iran barred feminist and journalist Parvin Ardalan from leaving the country to receive the 2007 Olof Palme Prize in Stockholm which she had been awarded for her campaign for equal rights for women in Iran.