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UPDATE 18th September 2013

NASRIN SOTOUDEH RELEASED UNCONDITIONALLY!

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"If any government can block the power of a human rights attorney, its hands are free to treat its critics and opponents in any manner it desires. Unfortunately the international community allowed the government to break this barrier."   Reza Khandan, husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Nasrin 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. 

In 2008, Nasrin won the International Human Rights Award.

On 4th September, 2010, she was arrested by the Iranian authorities, alledgedly on charges of spreading propaganda and threatening state security.

Her husband, Reza Khandan:

"The world should know that all she has done is to earn this punishment is support her clients.

Even when she was threatened with arrest, she continued to support her clients with bravery and determination. The world must support her now.

Nasrin has many faces. When she is with the children, she leaves her professional world to be a real mother, and as a professional she gives a new meaning to what professionalism means. She is also a wonderful spouse.

Whenever there is a contact, whether in presence or by phone, we miss her even more..."

Please sign and share this petition to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders who, between them, are mandated to 'protect human rights defenders who are lawyers acting in the discharge of their professional duties,' and to inquire into any substantial allegations sent to them. 

Read more:

Updates and news about Nasrin

Safeworld Interview with Reza Khandan - Nasrin's husband

Safeworld Interview with Mehrangiz Kar - Iranian attorney & friend of Nasrin

UPDATE - 16th APRIL 2013

Nasrin's husband expresses serious concerns about her rapidly deteriorating eyesight and lack of access to an Opthalmologist.

UPDATE - 2nd DECEMBER 2012

Nasrin still on hunger strike. Her husband reports, on his facebook status, that her body has now been rejecting fluid for two days and her health condition is critical.

UPDATE - WEDNESDAY 17th OCTOBER 2012

Nasrin began hunger strike

UPDATE - SATURDAY, 14th MAY 2012

Nasrin to appear in court again, Sunday May 20th, for suspension of her licence to practise law.

UPDATE - FRIDAY, 23rd SEPTEMBER 2011

In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Reza Khandan, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband, said that the second court session reviewing her disbarment (removal from the Bar Association) was cancelled.

Nasrin's husband and kids were able to see her for 15 minutes - for the first time in six weeks.

UPDATE - SUNDAY, 7th AUGUST 2011

According to Reza Khandan, Nasrin Sotoudeh's husband, he and his family were detained for a several hours on Sunday, when they arrived to visit Sotoudeh at Evin prison today.

Khandan described the events that occurred when his family arrived at Evin as follows on his Facebook page:

"Today August 7th, 2011 the Evin prison authorities not only prevented us from having a face to face visitation with Nasrin, but also detained the entire family including Nasrin's sister, keeping us there until the afternoon."

UPDATE - SUNDAY, 29th MAY 2011

At the request of the judicial authorities, Nasrin Sotoudeh was summoned from Evin prison to attend a court hearing at the Iranian Bar Association concerning the revocation of her license to practice the law. According to reports received by the Feminist School, however, her court hearing was rescheduled.

UPDATE - WEDNESDAY, 24th MAY 2011

On the occasion of Mother's Day in Iran, 12 female political prisoners were allowed face to face visitation with their families.  Nasrin Sotoudeh, Bahareh Hedayat and Mahdiyeh Golroo were three of the prisoners finally afforded this right.

UPDATE - SUNDAY, 21st MAY 2011

Nasrin Sotoudeh, who wrote on crumpled prison tissue paper, told her three-year-old son to pray that the country’s judges and prosecutors rediscover the meaning of justice so that “we too can someday be allowed to live in peace like so many other countries in the world”.

UPDATE - SUNDAY, 1st MAY 2011

Nasrin has been transferred from ward 209 at Evin to the Methadone Quarantine Ward reserved for addicts and dangerous criminals. 

According to Daneshjoo News, this transfer took place at a time when Sotoudeh's husband had announced that she has lost considerable weight while in prison, her weight decreasing from 58 kilos ( 128 lbs) to 44 kilos (97 lbs). Reza Khandan also reported that despite his wife having vision problems, prison officials had refused to allow her to visit an eye doctor.

UPDATE - SUNDAY, 9TH JANUARY, 2011

Nasrin has been sentenced to 11 years in prison:

This includes 5 years for 'violating the Islamic dress code (Hejab)' in a filmed acceptance speech, in which she was accepting a Human Rights Prize by the International Committee on Human Rights, in 2008. She was not permitted to leave the country, at the time to travel to Italy to accept the award.

A further 5 years of the sentence is for 'acting against the national security of the country' and 1 year is for 'propaganda against the regime'.

She has also been banned from practising law and leaving the country for 20 years. Reportedly, an appeal against the sentence can be requested within 20 days.

Nasrin's husband, Reza, has been summoned to the Revolutionary Court. In a statement, he said:

"I have been asked to appear at Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court. In the written summons, the word 'defendant' was used when referring to me. Of course I was also summoned once about ten to twelve days before my wife was arrested and at the time I was warned about the interviews I had given."

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says the 'UN Human Rights Council Should Act to Address the Crisis.' The ICHRI says that Nasrin has 'reportedly been tortured in prison in order to force her to confess to crimes'.

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"If any government can block the power of a human rights attorney, its hands are free to treat its critics and opponents in any manner it desires. Unfortunately the international community allowed the government to break this barrier."   Reza Khandan, husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh.

 

 

Letter to
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs Navanethem Pillay
UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders Ms. Margaret Sekaggya
UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of lawyers Gabriela Carina Knaul de Albuquerque e Silva
and 1 other
UN Special Rapporteur on torture & degrading treatment Mr. Juan Méndez
I am writing to express my horror and deep concern at the ongoing imprisonment of Nasrin Sotoudeh - Human Rights Defence Lawyer in Iran and winner of the 2008 International Human Rights Award.

In the words of Nasrin's husband, Reza Khandan:

"If any government can block the power of a human rights attorney, its hands are free to treat its critics and opponents in any manner it desires. Unfortunately the international community allowed the government to break this barrier."

Nasrin Sotoudeh, as you will know, was sentenced on Sunday, 9th January 2011, to 11 years imprisonment.
Reportedly, this includes 5 years for 'violating the Islamic dress code (Hejab)' in a filmed acceptance speech, in which she was accepting a Human Rights Prize by the International Committee on Human Rights, in 2008. She was not permitted to leave the country, at the time, to travel to Italy to accept the award.

A further 5 years of the sentence is for 'acting against the national security of the country' and 1 year is for 'propaganda against the regime'.

She has also been banned from practising law and leaving the country for 20 years. It is possible that an appeal against the sentence can be requested within 20 days.

Nasrin's husband, Reza, was summoned to the Revolutionary Court. In a statement, he said:

"I have been asked to appear at Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court. In the written summons, the word 'defendant' was used when referring to me. Of course I was also summoned once about ten to twelve days before my wife was arrested and at the time I was warned about the interviews I had given."

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says the 'UN Human Rights Council Should Act to Address the Crisis.' The ICHRI also says that Nasrin has 'reportedly been tortured in prison in order to force her to confess to crimes'.

I would like to draw your attention to important legal points raised recently by renowned Human Rights Lawyer, Mehrangiz Kar, when discussing Ms Sotoudeh's case:

"Under the concept of a fair trial, the key thing is to have access to lawyers and this is not being practiced. It is routinely being violated.
Article 168 of the Iranian constitution states:
'All political prisoners are afforded right to a jury trial and must be public'.

When there is not a jury during the trial, that trial is not legal even under the Islamic Republic's structure. This has been routinely violated since the 2009 elections."

With specific reference to Nasrin, Ms Kar states:
"She always followed the law, made sure that her speeches were free of slogans and concentrated on what is lawful. She stayed within the boundaries of law...

Nasrin is a very, very honest woman and I cannot believe, not just as a lawyer but as a human being, that she could do anything against anybody else."

I implore you to act with the utmost urgency, according to your respective mandates, and do all within your power to:

1) Inquire into these substantial allegations against Nasrin Sotoudeh
2) Protect the independence of Nasrin Sotoudeh as a defence attourney who was acting in the discharge of her professional duty
3) Cooperate closely with relevant United Nations bodies, mandates and mechanisms and with regional organisations
4) Send an urgent appeal to the Iranian authorities.
5) 'Take appropriate steps to reiterate your concerns to the attention of the Iranian authorities', as per the commitment which I understand was made by Mrs Navanethem Pillay to: Shirin Ebadi, Parvin Ardalan, Asieh Amini, Khadijeh Moghaddam, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Shadi Sadr and Mansoureh Shojaee, during their recent protest outside the offices of the United Nations in Geneva.

Please do all you can to intervene and ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Nasrin Sotoudeh and all other women rights activists, journalists and political prisoners who are unjustly detained.

With respect,