Sotoudeh Threatened to Drop Case of Colleague
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has obtained a copy of a letter Reza Khandan, husband of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, wrote to Tehran’s Prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi, about Sotoudeh’s condition in prison. In the letter he also says that security organizations threatened his wife, asking her to withdraw from representing one of her colleagues. Nasrin Sotoudeh represents Shirin Ebadi, head of the Defenders of Human Rights Center.
“I, Reza Khandan, would like to inform you that my wife, Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh Langeroudi, a lawyer, received a threatening telephone call from a security organization regarding withdrawal from representing one of her colleagues, who is coincidentally also a lawyer. She was subsequently summoned by Evin Prison Court on 7 September 2010 and arrested. During this time, she has been denied any visitation, which is the natural right of everyone,” wrote Khandan in his letter to Tehran Prosecutor.
“During this period, in addition to enduring immense mental pressure due to imprisonment in solitary confinement, she has also been denied visits with her two young children. She has not had any contact with her family since 15 September 2010. Ever since her arrest, she has not been allowed to speak with her 3-year-old child on the phone even for one minute. On 23 September 2010, her father passed away in the hospital, and although even hardened criminals can take bereavement leave to attend a funeral, she was deprived of this right, too, despite the investigator’s agreement, a letter from the Prosecutor, the announced $150,000 bail, and presentation of documents related to her father’s death. According to the case investigator’s remarks, it seems as though the investigations have already ended and she should be able to be united with her children after posting bail,” Khandan added.
“Punishing children for the actions of adults is quite inhumane. Even if loss of contact with family, confinement in a solitary cell, and insults (by her initial investigator and the interrogator) produce results, those results are worthless and discredited. It has now been 14 days since we last had any news of her. It has been absolutely impossible to communicate with her and get any information about her,” the letter to Dolatabadi continued.
In the letter, Khandan asked several questions, “Is this mother of two small children on a hunger strike, as she said? Is she sick? Is she even alive? Nobody is sure, not even the City Prosecutor. Mr. Prosecutor, have you ever experienced that in a long absence of their mother, your children, bereft, might ask bystanders to be their mother?”
In conclusion, Khandan expressed hope for the implementation of justice.