This is not just heavy-handed and the perfect stereotype of police-state thuggery, but also oddly clownish and pathetic:
Iranian authorities confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi’s medal, the human rights lawyer said Thursday, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps Tehran is taking against any dissent.
In Norway, where the peace prize is awarded, the government said the confiscation of the gold medal was a shocking first in the history of the 108-year-old prize.
Ebadi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for her efforts in promoting democracy. She has long faced harassment from Iranian authorities for her activities – including threats against her relatives and a raid on her office last year in which files were confiscated.
The seizure of her prize is an expression of the Iranian government’s harsh approach to anyone it considers an opponent – particularly since the massive street protests triggered by hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed June 12 re-election.
Acting on orders from Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, authorities took the peace prize medal about three weeks ago from a safe-deposit box in Iran, Ebadi said in a phone interview from London. They also seized her Legion of Honor and a ring awarded to her by a German association of journalists, she said.
Authorities froze the bank accounts of her and her husband and demanded $410,000 in taxes that they claimed were owed on the $1.3 million she was awarded. Ebadi said, however, that such prizes are exempt from tax under Iranian law. She said the government also appears intent on trying to confiscate her home.
Ebadi, the first Muslim woman to be awarded the peace prize and the first female judge in Iran, said she would not be intimidated and that her absence from the country since June did not mean she felt exiled.
In other news, Iran also kicked Ebadi’s dog and toilet-papered her house. Good grief! It’s as if the regime’s enforcers think that by confiscating a round disk of metal, this somehow is a setback for the Green Revolution. You could almost argue that the mullahs are guilty of shirk (idolatry), because clearly they have ascribed mystical powers to the Nobel medallion and view it as some sort of talisman which Ebadi can wield against them. The fact that Ebadi’s power emanates from her convictions and courage, rather than her accolades, is likely beyond their understanding. And also, a clear mark of their actual impotence in the face of impending change
Related: Pejman Yousefzadeh chimes in, says that the regime has “no class“.