Following publication of news about Nasrin Sotoudeh’s hunger strike in prison and her interrogations under duress, Shirin Ebadi, head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that she is appealing to the world to object to the Sotoudeh’s arrest in order to help her. Ebadi also said she is deeply concerned about Sotoudeh’s health conditions.
“Ms. Sotoudeh is one of the last remaining courageous human rights lawyers who has accepted all risks for defending the victims of human rights violations in Iran. She represented many of those who were arrested after the election, and though she was repeatedly threatened by security officers that if she continued her defense work she was going to be arrested, she responded that every individual is entitled to have access to a lawyer, and that her work was in accordance with the law. She refused to oblige the illegal demands of security officials and continued her honorable work. She accepted most her cases pro bono,” Ebadi told the Campaign.
“Unfortunately, the Iranian government is daily tightening its stranglehold on defenders of human rights. They could not tolerate this woman’s courage and arrested her. Since her arrest, they did not even accept her release on bail in order for her attend her father’s funeral service, and all this time she has not been able to visit with her family or lawyer,” said the 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate.
“Ms. Sotoudeh had told her husband that if more than four days passed without telephone access or without any news from her, she would go on a hunger strike. Since it’s been nearly three weeks since her last telephone call, her husband is worried about her being on a hunger strike, and for this reason, is extremely concerned about her physical condition. I am appealing to the world to rush to her help and to protest the arrest of a lawyer whose only crime is defending the victims of human rights violations in court,” Ebadi added.