Shirin Ebadi in 2009.
Eynulla Fatullayev: Fatullayev, a journalist for Monitor magazine, first caught his government's attention in 2007 when he published a controversial article implicating the government in the murder of a colleague, Elmar Huseynov. A few months later, after a blog comment was falsely attributed to him, Fatullayev was charged with terrorism and the incitement of ethnic hatred and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Last December, while in jail, he was hit with a new count of possession of heroin, which he claims was planted on him by prison guards, a tactic used frequently by Azerbaijani authorities, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Shirin Ebadi: The most famous Iranian dissident, Ebadi is the founder of the Defenders of Human Rights Center and the winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize "for her efforts for democracy and human rights." In 1975, in the beginning of her storied career, Ebadi was the first Iranian woman to serve as a judge. She lost her judgeship, however, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when she was relegated to administrative duties. A noted human rights lawyer, she has defended numerous clients who were unfairly prosecuted by the state over the last 30 years, including dozens of women who had been arrested for protesting discriminatory gender laws. Ebadi has been consistently targeted by the Iranian government throughout her career and is an avid supporter of the green movement, a position that sent her into self-imposed exile in Britain following last year's disputed presidential election.
(Check out FP's 2009 interview with Ebadi.)
Akbar Ganji: Once described as the Iranian Vaclav Havel by British human rights group Article 19, journalist Ganji was imprisoned from 2001 to 2006 for exposing state involvement in the killings of jailed Iranian dissidents -- now known as the "Chain Murders." He served in the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in the 1980s, but his disillusionment with the Islamic Revolution's path transformed him into Iran's preeminent investigative journalist. A champion of secular, liberal democracy, Ganji left Iran after his release from prison in 2006.
(Check out FP's 2009 interview with Ganji.)
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