June 18th, 2009
12:31 PM ET

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner calls for new elections

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/18/iran.election/art.moussavi.irpt.jpg caption="Mir Hossein Moussavi (right, in green sash) greets supporters at Thursday's rally."]

Golnaz Esfandiari
Radio Free Europe
Radio Liberty

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi has told RFE/RL that the Iranian authorities should hold a new election and allow monitoring by international observers. She also called for the release of everyone the regime has arrested, which includes several human rights activists. Ebadi spoke by phone with RFE/RL's Golnaz Esfandiari from a location outside Iran.

RFE/RL: As you know, Iran has been rocked by violent protests the past few days as people have protested the reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and accused the government of massive fraud. Ahmadinejad and others say the election results reflect the will of the people. You are watching the situation closely. What’s your view? Was it a real election?

Shirin Ebadi: The Iranian people are expressing doubt and questioning the election [results]. Millions of people have come to the streets and expressed their demands in a very peaceful manner. Unfortunately, their peaceful demands have been met with violent reactions; we saw at least [seven people] killed in the streets and a number of dead at Tehran University [during an attack by security forces]. There are also many injured.

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