Human Rights and Protection of Lawyers

The UIA rejoices with the release of lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, defender of women, juveniles facing death penalty and human rights activists, was released on September 18, 2013, after spending three years in Evin prison in North Teheran. She is a member of the Defenders of Human Rights Centre (DHRC), organisation founded by Peace Nobel Price Shirin Ebadi. She is also the co-recipient of the 2012 Sakharov human rights prize.

Ms. Sotoudeh was arrested on September 4, 2010 and on January 9, 2011 she was sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment for allegedly “acting against national security”, “propaganda against the system”, “collusion and gathering with the aim of acting against national security” and “membership in an illegal organisation”. Her sentence was reduced to six years’ imprisonment and 10 years’ ban of practising law on September 14, 2011.

Ms. Sotoudeh was imprisoned under poor conditions and she was continually denied contact with her family and lawyer. She repeatedly went on hunger strike to protest.
Since her arrest, the UIA has attentively followed her case and it has called to Iranian authorities for her immediate release several times.
The UIA welcomes her release as well as the one of lawyer Jaavid Hutan Kian, on last August. Mr. Hutan Kian was the defender of an Iranian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for alleged adultery.

However, the UIA does not forget other Iranian lawyers who are still imprisoned because of the legal exercise of their practise, such as Mohammad Seyfzadeh and Adolfattah Soltani, also members of the DHRC.