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Iran: Release women’s rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 00:00

    Nasrin Sotoudeh is a lawyer, human rights campaigner and women’s rights activist.

    Nasrin has defended the rights of many activists who have been arrested, tried unfairly and jailed, including Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi. Nasrin has spoken publicly about the shortcomings of the Iranian legal system and is famous for defending young offenders on death row. Her activities made her a target, and she was arrested in September 2010.

    In January 2011, Nasrin was sentenced to 11 years in prison. In mid-September 2011, the Appeals Court reduced her prison sentence to 6 years and a ban against practising law from 20 years to 10. The charges against her include “acts against national security”, “anti-regime propaganda” and belonging to the Centre for Human Rights Defenders.

    For most of the past year, Nasrin Sotoudeh has been in solitary confinement in Tehran’s Evin Prison. Three hunger strikes have weakened her health. She took that drastic action to protest her imprisonment, lack of trial and her conditions of detention.

    Her detention affects many others. By repressing lawyers like Nasrin and by marginalizing the Iranian Bar Association, the government denies other critics of the government the right to access competent legal representation. One of her own lawyers is currently in detention, too. Nasrin’s husband, Reza Khandan, was pressured with threats and brief imprisonment to make his wife stop her activities. He remains at risk of further harassment and faces a possible trial and imprisonment. They have two children.

    Nasrin received the 2011 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. She belongs to several organizations including the One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws Against Women, and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child.

    Amnesty International considers Nasrin Sotoudeh to be a prisoner of conscience.

    Take Action

    Write a letter to:

    Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
    The Office of the Supreme Leader
    Islamic Republic Street 
    End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
     
    Start your letter with: "Your Excellency"

    • Describe who you are and what concerns you about the detention of Nasrin Sotoudeh.
    • Ask the Ayatollah to release Nasrin Sotoudeh without delay or conditions because she is a prisoner of conscience, detained only for peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of expression and association
      .
    • Until she is free, urge him to protect Nasrin Sotoudeh from torture and other ill-treatment. Ask him to provide regular access to her lawyer, family and whatever medical treatment her health requires.

     
     
    Send a message to Nasrin:

    Mail it to Amnesty’s Toronto office, marked for her husband:
    Reza Khandan
    Amnesty International
    3 – 1992 Yonge Street
    Toronto, Ontario M4S 1Z7

    Send a key with your message to, symbolically, open the door of Nasrin’s cell! Cut one out and mail it with your appeal, trace one onto your letter, or send an old one.

    Write To

    The Office of the Supreme Leader
    Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
    Islamic Republic Street 
    End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
    Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
    Your Excellency