Press release on the Human Rights Day, 10th of December 2012
Freedom for the Iranian Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh
Several organisations criticize the conditions of detention of Nasrin Sotoudeh and demand her release.
Today, on the Human Rights Day, several organisations demand the Iranian authorities to release and
protect the lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. Mrs Sotoudeh is in prison since 26 months for her work in the
domain of human rights. Based on the charge she was spreading propaganda and conspiring to
harm national security, she was condemned on the 9th January to a prison sentence of 11 years.
Furthermore, she was barred from working and from leaving the country for the next 20 years. An appeals
court later commuted Sotoudeh’s prison sentence to six years, and her ban from working as a lawyer to
ten years. Since her imprisonment on the 4th of September 2010, she has suffered from long periods in
solitary confinement and has engaged several times in hunger strikes.
Nasrin Sotoudeh has begun a hunger strike once more on the 17th of October to protest against
restrictions placed on her family visits. Her 12 year old daughter was forbidden from leaving the country,
her husband denied visiting her. An explanation was not given. Mrs. Sotoudeh fights with her hunger
strike for the right to regular visits from her family, the right to communicate with them without a clear
barrier, as well as the lifting of her daughter’s ban to leave the country. Mrs. Sotoudeh concluded her
hunger strike on the 5th of December, although it is not clear if the conditions of her detention have
Nasrin Sotoudeh was born in 1963 and has actively engaged in the defence of human rights in her work
as a lawyer. She has prominently represented activists of the opposition, who were imprisoned in
connection with the protests against the manipulation of the presidential elections in June 2009. She
represented young people, women and political prisoners condemned to death. The lawyer Nasrin
Sotoudeh has won together with the film director Jafar Panahi the Sacharow price for intellectual freedom
of the European Parliament this year. She has a 12 year old daughter and a five year old son.
We are very worried about Nasrin Sotoudeh, her health is severely weakened due to the hunger strikes.
Amnesty International considers Nasrin Sotoudeh a peaceful political prisoner, who is in detention only on
account of her work as a lawyer and demands her inmediate and unconditionate release.
We join this demand and ask the German government to also engage in her release.
On the 10.12.2012 a rally on the situation of Nasrin Sotoudeh and other Iranian political prisoners will be
held at 13:00 in front of the Iranian embassy in Berlin. The association of Iranian refugees, the
Committee for the defence of political prisoners in Iran, as well as representatives of the RAV, VDJ and
the Bar association of Berlin will participate in this demonstration.
Contactperson for further information:
Hamid Nowzari, Verein Iranischer Flüchtlinge Berlin e.V. Tel. 0172.1647761
Berenice Böhlo, Rechtsanwältin, Vorstandsmitglied im RAV, Tel. 030.62987720