Nasrin Sotoudeh: Please end your hunger strike – Iranians need you alive

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Nasrin Sotoudeh is Iran's foremost human rights lawyer and a symbol for non-violent resistance in the pursuit of the rule of law in the Islamic Republic, according to the exiled human rights lawyer Mehrangiz Kar.  

The 54-year-old was arrested in June and handed a five-year prison term after being sentenced in absentia – with no charges, no right to a defence – in a move that makes a mockey of Iran's own laws.

On 24 August Ms Sotoudeh announced she was going on hunger strike to protest against the harrassment of her family at the hands of the authorities. 

Her husband, Reza Khandan was arrested on 3 September. Both arrests have been condemned by Amnesty International and other human rights organisations. 

Hadi Ghaemi of the US-based Center for Human Rights in Iran told the New Yorker: “Her arrest was Orwellian, as the agents carrying it out claimed she has a five-year sentence in a case that has been decided in secret. She and her husband have no idea of when this prosecution took place, under what charges, and based on what evidence. That is an unbelievable miscarriage of justice.”

It is imperative that she ends her hunger strike for as Ms Mehrangiz Kar put in, in an interview of with Deutsche Welle radio, liquidating herself with a hunger strike will please her captors and deprive the people of Iran of a hero of resistance in the pursuit of the rule of law in Iran. 

In short, we the undersigned, need you Ms Sotoudeh. We need you alive. We have heard your voice. We will relay your message to the world from outside Iran.

Please end your hunger strike. As Ms Kar says: "We haven't got a hundred Nasrin Sotoudehs. We haven't got a thousand". 

 We have one. Please end your hunger strike.

 (Photo: Kaveh Kazemi / Getty)