Iran: demand release of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

Amnesty International on Sept. 4 called for the release of Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, detained since June, and her husband Reza Khandan, who was arrested this week. Reza Khandan was charged by Tehran’s Office of the Prosecutor with spreading propaganda against the system, colluding to commit crimes against national security, and promoting the practice of appearing in public without a veil. Khandan had raised concerns on Facebook about human rights violations in Iran and also publicly campaigned for the release of his wife. Amnesty International director for the Middle East and North Africa, Philip Luther said, "These callous actions illustrate the lengths to which Iranian authorities will go to silence human rights lawyers, even targeting their families." Currently, Sotoudeh is on a hunger strike in prison to protest the arrest of civil rights activists and the harassment of her family and friends by police forces. On Aug. 22, 60 members of the European Parliament sent a letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to express concern over Sotoudeh’s imprisonment.

From Jurist, Sept. 4. Used with permission.

Note: The Center for Human Rights in Iran states that Sotoudeh's actual crime was representing women facing prison time for peacefully protesting against the Islamic Republic's compulsory hijab law. Nasrin Sotoudeh served two years in prison on similar charges between 2011 and 2013.

Photo: Center for Human Rights in Iran

  1. UN experts call on Iran to release women’s rights protesters

    A group of UN human rights experts on Nov. 29 criticized the actions of the Iranian government in jailing human rights defenders and lawyers. "We urge the Government to immediately release all those who have been imprisoned for promoting and protecting the rights of women."

    The experts called for the government of Iran to guarantee the rights of those imprisoned, not to arbitrarily deprive them of their liberty, and to guarantee rights to fair proceedings before an independent and impartial tribunal.

    The human rights defenders and lawyers were jailed because of their public support of protests against the mandatory wearing of the hijab. According to experts, there is a concerning lack of due process rights for those imprisoned. (Jurist)