Release Human Rights Lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, in Iran!
- Ban Ki Moon, Navi Pillay, Amnesty, HRW, International Crimes Court,
*UPDATE MAY 2013*
Nasrin Sotoudeh’s Eyesight Is Deteriorating in Prison. “Before going to prison, she was only using reading glasses, but after her first hunger strike two years ago, her vision problems started, and recently this problem intensified after her latest hunger strike,” -husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh.
September 2011, The Appeals Court reduced Nasrin Sotoudeh’s sentence to 6 years in prison and 10 year ban from practicing law.
*UPDATE July 17, 2011*
Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer who is imprisoned in Iran, sentenced to 11 years in jail, 20 year ban on practicing law, and banned from leaving Iran, has finally been allowed to see her mother after 8 months in jail.
*UPDATE February 25, 2011*
Feb 18th: In third court hearing, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s family was not allowed in the courtroom. In the 6 months that Sotoudeh has been in prison, their 3 year old has only been able to visit her 3 times which adds up to about 30 minutes and the visits have taken place under totally inappropriate conditions. She is still in the Security Ward of Evin (Ward 209) despite 6 months of detention, and she has not been transferred to the General Ward.
*UPDATE December 20th, 2010*
According to reports received from Evin prison, Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer on her a dry hunger strike was transferred to Evin’s infirmary on December 16th as a result of her rapidly deteriorating health. This is the third time Nasrin Sotoudeh has launched a hunger strike in the 100 days she has been incarcerated. Even though her physical health is dire as a result of her dwindling strength she has refused to end her hunger strike.
Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband and her two children are extremely worried for her wellbeing. To make matters worse, as a result of the Muharram holidays they have not been able to reach the judicial authorities to inquire about her condition.
According to reports received by Kaleme, Nima, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s three year old toddler continues to ask about his mother’s whereabouts and does not understand why his sister and father are so worried. Nasrin Sotoudeh’s daughter, Mehrabeh, who is only twelve years old, has been consoling her three year old brother these days.
*UPDATE December 15, 2010*
NASRIN SOTOUDEH HAS BEEN ON A DRY HUNGER STRIKE SINCE DECEMBER 5TH, 2010!! HER HEALTH IS IN CRITICAL DANGER.
Please help spread news to international organizations about Nasrin's situation!!!
New 'Hijab' Charges Brought Against Iranian Rights Lawyer:
Reza Khandan, Nasrin's husband told Radio Farda on December 14th that his wife must appear in court on December 27th to defend herself against charges of "not wearing the hijab" and "not observing Islamic standards of conduct."
Khandan said that when his wife was barred from leaving Iran to receive an international human rights award in 2008, she sent a message via video clip to the International Human Rights Committee in Italy, which had selected her as the awardee.
"Her new charge is that she did not wear a head scarf in that video clip," Khandan said.
Reza Khandan, the husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist illegally jailed in Evin prison, reports on the recent conversation he had with his wife during the last visit. Nasrin Sotoudeh is currently on hunger strike. She is demanding the annulment of the unjust laws devised after the 2009 Iranian Presidential election.
Reza Khandan says December 12, 2010: "Nasrin contacted me and she did not sound well at all. She is still on hunger strike and has visited the [prison's] medical clinic on numerous ocassions. I asked specifically about what her demands are that would [need to be upheld] before she ended her hunger strike. Nasrin stated, “I have no personal demands, however I wish to see the annulment of all the unjust laws devised after the June 2009 election [in Iran].” She stated the same in our last visit together.
*UPDATE November 5, 2010*
In an interview with Radio Farda, Reza Khandan has confirmed that his wife jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is back on hunger strike. The physical condition of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is deteriorating as a result of a dry hunger strike (no food or water) that she began at Evin prison on Sunday October, 31, 2010. Sotoudeh's children were extremely distressed and depressed at the sight of their mother who was in poor physical condition and had lost a lot of weight. TAKE ACTION!
translation by Banooye Sabz.
*UPDATE October 15, 2010*
Nasrin Sotoudeh has been on a hunger strike for 20 days since September 25th, she is being subjected to severe torture by her interrogators which was reported today. Please read the article here: http://persian2english.com/?p=15474
*UPDATE September 25, 2010*
Only a few days after her arrest, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s father passed away in the intensive care unit of a hospital. The night before appearing at the Evin prison court, Sotoudeh had gone to see her father with her two children, ages three and twelve, unaware that this would be her last visit with her father. Sotoudeh’s family has requested her release for her father’s funeral! Release Nasrin Sotoudeh!!!!
5 September 2010- The International Campaign for Human Right in Iran called for the immediate release of prominent human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was arrested at Evin prison on 4 September 2010, and for all charges against her to be dropped.
Sotoudeh is a leading human rights lawyer widely respected for her efforts on behalf of juveniles facing the death penalty and for her defense of prisoners of conscience. Sotoudeh, a mother of two, had earlier been charged with threatening national security. Her office and home were searched on 28 August and her assets frozen.
Nasrin Ghanavi, Sotoudeh’s lawyer, told the Campaign that Sotoudeh was summoned to Evin Prison court on charges of “propaganda against the state,” and “collusion and gathering with the aim of acting against national security.”
Ghanavi accompanied Sotoudeh to the court summon on 4 September but was not permitted to be present during questioning. After her questioning, Sotoudeh was arrested and held in Evin prison.
“This arrest is nothing more than a crude, arbitrary political move to make it more comfortable for the Iranian government to persecute its citizens,” stated Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign.
A few days before her arrest, Sotoudeh told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran how the authorities were creating bogus tax problems for human rights lawyers as a way to provide pretexts for their prosecution.
“I was referred to the taxation bureau and while there I noticed in addition to my name, they are conducting special investigations into thirty human rights lawyers,” she said. Sotoudeh provided Shirin Ebadi’s tax bill of hundreds of thousands of dollars on her Nobel Peace Prize money as an example, noting as well the irony that human rights cases were all represented on a pro bono basis, and none of the lawyers receive any money from the clients they defend in human rights case. ”The accusation machine is continuing to work fast, further limiting the conditions for human rights defense. The ultimate goal is to shut down all defense of human rights,” she added.
As a member of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child, Sotoudeh defended victims of child abuse. She has also defended journalist Issa Saharkhiz and human rights activist Parvin Ardalan. Following her attempt to save the life of Arash Ramanipour, who was hung in January 2010 for crimes he had allegedly committed under the age of 18, she went on record to reveal the illegal process of conducting his execution. At that time, she was threatened that if she publicly spoke on the cases she represented, she would be arrested.
She has also opposed the “Family Protection Bill,” legislation under consideration by the Iranian Majlis (Parliament) that would allow men to marry additional wives without the consent of their first wife. The proposed legislation is opposed by many women’s rights activists and others as encouraging polygamy. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad supports the bill.
The Iranian government has arrested numerous human rights lawyers, including Mohammed Ali Dadkah, Mohammad Oliayifard, Mohammad Seifzadeh, and most recently, Mohammad Mostafei, who was forced to flee the country during his defense of Sakineh Ashtiani, sentenced to be stoned to death.
“Nasrin Sotoudeh needs to be restored to her family and to her vocation, and the Iranian authorities must end their transparently illegal attack against human rights lawyers,” Rhodes said.
2) Stop the persecution of all Iranian human rights lawyers and adhere to the international human rights laws in which the Iran government is a state party.
3) Allow Nasrin Sotoudeh to continue her work as a human rights attorney uninterrupted and allow her to visit her clients and give her access to her clients files and paperwork as guaranteed by judicial law.