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Iran Shuts Down Nobel Winner's Rights Group

Iranian police have shut down the office of a human rights group led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi.

A senior official with the Human Rights Defenders Center, Narges Mohammadi, says police raided the center Sunday as it prepared for a belated celebration of the 60th anniversary of Human Rights Day, which was December 10.

The official says police, along with plainclothed security officers, did not provide any explanation for the raid or show a warrant.

The semi-official Mehr news agency in Iran says judiciary officials ordered the center's closure because it did not have the required legal permits to operate.

Ebadi told reporters her group will continue to work and support the rights of activists and political prisoners.

Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her work promoting greater rights for women and children in Iran.

During a speech in Geneva on Human Rights Day, Ebadi questioned the make-up of the U.N. Human Rights Council, which consists of a number of Arab nations regularly accused of violating human rights.

Ebadi has provoked leading clerics with her protests against rights abuses in the country. She also has received multiple death threats against her and her family.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.