The question is, will he mention what is happening in Iran in his acceptance speech. The Iranian government has confiscated the medal awarded to the Iranian human rights lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, awarded to her in 2003.
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.Whatever she may feel, if she has any sense at all, she will stay in geographic if not spiritual exile.
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 ome.
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.
The Norwegian Peace Prize Committee is in shock. This has never happened before. Will this year's winner of the prize refer to it, I ask again.
His record on the subject of human rights is not good. His behaviour during the Iranian protests and demonstrations did not make one feel that he valued the ideas of freedom or was, in any way, ready to support those who were fighting for it.
Another test came when he was in China. Would he talk about human rights in the country that is, possibly, the worst offender. Sadly, even Der Spiegel was unimpressed. Then again, they were unimpressed by the entire Obama jaunt in Asia or, indeed, his foreign policy in general.
The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China. The president, who had said only a few days earlier that freedom of expression is a universal right, was coerced into attending a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which questions were forbidden. Former US President George W. Bush had always managed to avoid such press conferences.President Bush, the great hate figure of the last eight years, is beginning to be missed by all sorts of people.