Sotoudeh’s Husband Says Wife is in Solitary Confinement
Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his wife is in solitary confinement and in isolation, even though her lawyer has been told that her case’s investigations are complete. Khandan told the Campaign that in the absence of any news about Sotoudeh’s condition, he cannot confirm nor deny the rumors about her torture.
Several days after rumors about prison abuse, and psychological and physical pressure on Nasrin Sotoudeh started circulating on the internet, the prisoner of conscience’s husband told the Campaign that on 17 October, the investigative judge at Evin prison Court advised Sotoudeh’s lawyer, Nasim Ghanavi, that Sotoudeh’s case has been forwarded to the Revolutionary Court.
“This morning when Ms. Ghanavi went to follow up on my wife’s case, the investigative judge advised her that the investigation is complete and the case has been forwarded to the court. Of course they said nine days ago that the interrogation and investigation phases were complete, but a few days ago, before going to bed, I read the news of my wife’s torture on websites,” said Khandan.
“Sotoudeh’s lawyer has also been told other things. She had followed up on issues such as her telephone rights. She was told today that because Nasrin was not willing to contact her family in the presence of officers, they had decided not to give her permission to call,” Khandan explained.
“According to the law, when the investigation and interrogation phases are complete and the suspect’s file is sent to court for a ruling, the suspect should either be released, or if they remain in prison, they must be given the rights of ordinary prisoners. Nasrin Sotoudeh has not been given visitation or telephone privileges, and she remains in a solitary cell,” said Reza Khandan, questioning the decision to not allow Sotoudeh to contact him.
“I can’t confirm nor deny the rumors about torture, as I have no information about her. Though after news about her hunger strike was announced, the activities intensified and our back and forth trips to the Judiciary and its related organizations grew several fold, but, unfortunately, we were unable to get any information about her. The only way we can prove whether she has been tortured or not is talking to her; we will have to talk to her and she can say whether she was tortured or not,” said Khandan, emphasizing that the information blackout on his wife’s condition makes things suspicious.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested at Evin prison Court on 4 September after being summoned there. She has only made three short phone calls to her family since her arrest. In addition to Sotoudeh, two other lawyers with the Defenders of Human Rights Center, Mohammad Seifzadeh and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, have also been summoned to court and interrogated regarding the Center’s activities. Mohammad Oliaifard, another lawyer who represents political prisoners, is also in prison.