Iranian authorities have confiscated Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi's medal, the human rights lawyer said, in a sign of the increasingly drastic steps Teheran is taking against any dissent.
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 Teheran'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.
Authorities also 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.