Shiva Nazar-Ahari, a persecuted Iranian human rights activist, has been awarded the Theodor Haecker prize for her courageous internet reporting on human rights violations.
The award was established by the German city of Esslingen, once the home of Haecker, a philosopher, writer and anti-Nazi cultural critic. The award aims to recognize individuals or groups who strive to achieve peace and democracy.
Parisa Kakayi, who worked with Nazar-Ahari at the Human Rights Reporters Committee, told Radio Zamaneh that Nazar-Ahari, who was arrested twice in the post-election protests, spent a long stretch of her incarceration in solitary confinement.
Twenty-six-year-old Nazar-Ahari is one of the founders of Human Rights Reporters Committee and a member of One Million Signatures Campaign and Society for the Support of Child Labourers and Street Kids. Two years ago, when she was barred from pursuing graduate studies, she also joined the Council of Defense against Education Discrimination.
Nazar-Ahari is awaiting a court order to serve out her four-year prison term and as she is banned from travelling abroad, she will not be able to travel to Germany to receive her prize. Kakayi will accept it on her behalf.
Nazar-Ahari was arrested at her workplace on June 14, 2009, in the wake of the mass protests that followed Mahmoud Ahamdnenjad’s controversial victory, the largest such protests since the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
She was released the following September on $200,000 bail, then rearrested in December and released last September on $500,000 bail.