Nasrin Sotoudeh Protests Family Abuse During Prison Visit
In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, said that she refrained from attending her weekly visitation with her family for the second week. Following a five-hour detention of her family members and physical abuse of her sister by prison officers during her last visitation, Sotoudeh announced that so long as the Iranian Judiciary does not restore Sotoudeh’s dignity*, she will continue to deprive herself from visiting with her family, saving them from future problems during visitations. Khandan told the Campaign he does not have any news about his wife.
“Again, she didn’t come to visitation this week. When I asked her ward-mates about her, they said she is generally well. I learned somehow that she was really stressed out after the children’s arrest during our visit two weeks ago, as she could not imagine the detention of her 4- and 11-year-old children while she is in prison herself and unable to do anything for them,” said Khandan.
“Since last May, female political prisoners at Evin have not been allowed to make telephone calls, and they cannot find out about their children’s well-being during the week. And now Nasrin has refrained from coming to visits for the past two weeks. We have no communication channels with her. They don’t even allow us to send the prisoners photographs or letters. I sent her photographs of the family and the children, but prison authorities did not accept any of them. The communication breakdown is complete and I don’t know how long this will last,” he added.
Two weeks ago, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s family was harassed by a prison guard who tried to take away a notebook her husband was using to write down a list of things Sotoudeh needed in prison. The family was detained for five hours during which Sotoudeh’s sister was physically abused by a female officer. Sotoudeh has demanded the Judiciary’s restoration of her family’s dignity.
Sotoudeh is currently serving an eleven-year prison sentence at Evin Prison. The court has also barred her from her legal practice and foreign travel for 20 years.
*In this case, restoring dignity refers to Iranian authorities accepting responsibility for the harassment of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s family during their visit.