More than 900 social activists and clients of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer imprisoned since 4 September, have expressed their concern for her continued detention while on hunger strike, holding the Iranian Judiciary responsible for her health, and demanding her unconditional release. The statement first appeared on the Change for Equality Website.
Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran yesterday that according to judicial authorities the investigation phase of Sotoudeh’s case has been completed, and it is unclear why Sotoudeh is not allowed to make phone calls. He also expressed concern that his wife might be under physical and psychological stress. There is speculation that Sotoudeh has been on a hunger strike since 25 September. The statement in support of Sotoudeh is copied below and can be viewed here: http://www.irangenderequality.com/
We fear the endangerment of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s health
Every day, human rights defenders experience further constraints. The Defenders of Human Rights Center is shut down. Legal practice licenses of brave and persistent human rights defenders are revoked. Lawyers who have no crime other than defending their clients and empowering them to stand up to the Iranian judicial system’s abuse of power, are imprisoned, and other defenders of human rights are sentenced to heavy prison terms. In all this, the brave and persistent human and women’s rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, has been in prison since 4 September. She has refused food since 25 September and except for the short phone call in which she has shared news about her hunger strike, there is no news about her. This complete information blackout about Nasrin Sotoudeh’s condition has deeply worried her husband, her children, and the undersigned women’s and citizen rights activists. Nasrin Sotoudeh has not committed any crime other than defending human dignity. We are fearful of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s endangered life, and ask judicial authorities for accountability. We hope to prevent for Nasrin Sotoudeh that which happened to Narges Mohammadi through the negligence of certain authorities. Nasrin Sotoudeh has not committed any crime other than defending human dignity. Her crime is defending the children whose bitter lives have been dispatched to prison. Her crime is defending men and women who have attempted no crime other than to bring justice to laws which have hardened people’s lives. Nasrin Sotoudeh’s crime is defending clients who are in prison for their opinions. Nasrin Sotoudeh is deeply committed to frameworks of legal confrontation and has only defended her clients within legal frameworks. Nasrin Sotoudeh’s crime is putting her efforts into bringing justice to the judicial system. Nasrin Sotoudeh’s efforts are worthy of praise, not punishment. We, a group of women’s and human rights activists and supporters of Nasrin Sotoudeh are deeply concerned for her life and hold judicial authorities responsible for safeguarding her health. Our demand is her unconditional and immediate release from prison..