Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian human rights lawyer serving 38 years in prison for constantly and courageously standing up to and challenging the Islamic Republic of Iran, has now been on hunger strike since August
“In addition to the deep injustice of political imprisonment, the Judiciary will have blood on its hands if Nasrin Sotoudeh and other political prisoners fall victim to the authorities’ total disregard for their health and well-being,” Hadi Ghaemi
Time for the Iranian regime to wake up to the short-sighted and inhumane dimension of its narrow policies towards its own citizens. Before it is too late…
Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian human rights lawyer serving 38 years in prison for constantly and courageously standing up to and challenging the Islamic Republic of Iran, has now been on hunger strike since August 11 demanding the release of political prisoners threatened by the COVID-19 virus, which has been spreading in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
Sotoudeh, the mother of two children, was arrested in 2018 on charges of “collusion and propaganda against the system”. In March 2019, she was eventually sentenced to a total of 38 years and six months in prison and 148 lashes after being convicted “in two separate grossly unfair trials”. Some of the charges against her, including “inciting corruption and prostitution”, stem from her work as a lawyer “representing women arrested for protesting against forced veiling laws, her own opposition to forced veiling, and removing her headscarf in prison.” (Amnesty) Under the law she must now serve at least 12 years, her husband Reza Khandan has pointed out.
In recent days concern for Nasrin Sotoudeh has been expressed by The Centre for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) with the health of the hunger striking lawyer becoming “critically threatened”.
By August 26th, the 17th day of the hunger strike, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s health was already deteriorating and she had been transferred to the Evin Prison clinic on August 19th.
“She has lost about six kilos of her 53 kilos of weight. Her blood pressure is erratic and her sugar level is very high. Nausea won’t let her hold enough water and sugar and that by itself is very dangerous…” Reza Khandan
“Nasrin Sotoudeh is risking death in order to break through the Iranian authorities’ refusal to release political prisoners who are falling ill from the COVID-19 virus spreading through Iran’s prisons,” Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of CHRI posted.
Talking with the Centre, also on August 31, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan said: “Nasrin has become extremely weak and her physical condition is not well. The prison clinic staff say she needs an injection of serum but Nasrin hasn’t agreed to it and refuses to take it.”
“In addition to the deep injustice of political imprisonment, the Judiciary will have blood on its hands if Nasrin Sotoudeh and other political prisoners fall victim to the authorities’ total disregard for their health and well-being,” Ghaemi said.
CHRI calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately release all political prisoners for medical care and testing.
Tragically we have just witnessed the death on hunger strike of Ebru Timtik, the Turkish lawyer who was part of the left-wing association the “People’s Legal Office” (Halkın Hukuk Bürosu) and another courageous fighter, willing to stand up to Turkey’s current authoritarian dictatorship…
Now both Iran and Turkey, along with all other oppressive regimes who hold their own citizens in contempt, need to be told that their days are numbered…
As posted recently:
“In prison you tell yourself, ‘if my hands are tied and my heart aches, It is because I want to build a better world for all children, including my own.’” Nasrin Sotoudeh
Another season here. An endless dream of a better world that will not come into being without our standing up and demanding its coming out of this enormous darkness…
Lest we forget..
Nasrin Sotoudeh and her 20 year old daughter, Mehraveh Khandan, who was also detained on August 18 in an attempt to intimidate her mother. (“fair use”)
A Letter from Nasrin Sotoudeh
Judiciary Blocks Nasrin Sotoudeh’s Bank Account, Cutting Off Funds for Family https://www.iranhumanrights.org/2020/07/judiciary-blocks-nasrin-sotoudehs-bank-account-cutting-off-funds-for-family/
Inside the Women’s Ward – Mistreatment of Women Political Prisoners at Iran’s Evin Prison (21016, PDF)
In Her Own Words: Nasrin Sotoudeh talks about juvenile executions in Iran
Watch an exclusive video of Nasrin Sotoudeh in her Tehran office talking about juvenile executions in Iran. (2011)
A bold speech by Nasrin Sotoudeh
Iran’s lioness of justice Nasrin Sotoudeh calls Iran a big prison, remembers her friends still inside the small prisons, professes solidarity with religious minorities and celebrates the proud resistance of Iran’s artists.
Nasrin Sotoudeh’s Speeches (2010)
“40 Million” a short documentary from director Jeff Kaufman for TIME
“The Iranian government see women as the first line of opposition and accuses them of acting against national security.”
“There are many feminists, including young women who are not mentioned anywhere because they are not famous, who have been in prison for many years. This is the price we pay for freedom and justice.”