Press Release
9 December 2003

Contact: In Oslo contact: 0047 (0) 98023484; 0044(0) 7970643243.

Demonstration against the Nobel Peace Prize a Success

The Worker-communist Party of Iran and the Organisation of Women's Liberation in Iran organised a successful demonstration today in opposition to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi, 'a Muslim woman' who sees no contradiction between Islam and human rights outside the Nobel Institute in Oslo. Demonstrators protested against Islamic laws such as stoning and compulsory veiling via symbolic acts. During the demonstration, prominent opposition personalities and leading members of the Worker-communist Party of Iran including Azar Majedi, Mina Ahadi, Ali Javadi, Nahid Riyazi, Parvin Kaboli, Maleka Ezati, Darioush Niknam, Bahram Soroush and others spoke.

Inside the Institute, the issue of Islam and human rights was the dominant issue with Shirin Ebadi reiterating her position that the two are compatible with each other. Halaleh Taheri and Sarah Mahmoud questioned Shirin Ebadi's position and stated: 'How do you dare to talk about the compatibility between Islam and human rights whilst women are being stoned to death?'
At an alternative press conference outside the Institute, prominent personalities raised their opposition to sexual apartheid, called for the downfall of the Islamic regime of Iran and condemned any appeasement of Islam or the Islamic regime of Iran.
The alternative press conference and demonstration received widespread coverage by international and global media networks, including tens of interviews by TV and radio stations as well as major news agencies. Many European countries heard the news of protest and the objection to the appeasement of Islam and an Islamic government.

Azar Majedi who was one of the main speakers of the alternative press conference said: 'This demonstration with its slogans of 'Down with the misogynist Islamic Republic of Iran' was a success for freedom and socialism in Iran. It was against any attempt to misrepresent the wishes and demands of the women in Iran.'

Asqar Karimi, head of the WPI's Executive Committee said of the demonstration and alternative press conference: 'This protest and press conference reflected the wishes of the people of Iran. Iranian society has rejected Islam and the Islamic government. We will expose and defeat any attempt to re-introduce and appease Islam or the Islamic government. The people of Iran do not want a mild Islam. They are eager to wipe out Islam and Islamic reactionary laws and government and are for an egalitarian and secular society and system. The Worker-communist Party of Iran represents this wish of the people of Iran.' He went on to say: 'This protest is a continuation of the students' protests in Tehran, the protests and strike of the petrochemical workers which is ongoing as well as the revolt by the youth of Iran.'

The Worker-communist Party of Iran and the Organisation of Women's Liberation in Iran will hold other protest actions on 10 December 2003.