One of Iran’s most important voices is fading away, leaving a deafening silence over the infamous Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran.
With dismay and the greatest concern, we have received the news that the condition for Nasrin Sotoudeh, one of the leading rights activists of our time, is critical.
Important update – 1 October 2020: Nasrin Sotoudeh has been awarded the Right Livelihood laureate prize. Read more here
It is our responsibility, as a movement of solidarity, popular education, human rights, and democratic freedoms, to raise our voices for her immediate release and the medical care she desperately needs.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced during the spring of 2019 to 48 years in prison and to 148 lashes. What horrific crime did she commit to motivate such a harsh and brutal punishment? The answer is: no crime at all.
Mrs Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to the freedoms and rights of others. As a human rights lawyer and opinion leader, she has time and again bravely defended the voices of the opposition and critics of the regime in a country where opposing voices are criminalized. This was her crime.
It is our duty to side with Mrs Sotoudeh as she is unjustly imprisoned and to stand up for her as she has done so many times for others. She did this, not for her own gain and not because it was simple, but because it was the right thing to do. She has already paid an inhuman price for her activism and commitment. Now she needs our voice as she is hovering between life and death. On behalf of Iranian political prisoners, Nasrin Sotoudeh began a hunger strike on August 11 against the pitiable conditions in Evin prison.
Nasrin Sotoudeh is fighting for her life
Our movement, united by the call for everyone’s right to a voice, to free education, to individual empowerment and to the autonomy of mind and heart, stand beside Nasrin Sotoudeh as she is fighting for her life. Together we represent millions of citizens across Europe and globally and we collectively want to give Nasrin Sotoudeh the voice she is being deprived of.
We support the call of PEN International and urge our national branches and individual members to write to Iranian institutions and embassies.
We furthermore call upon the EU High Representative Josep Borell to make use of the position of the EU and the relationships fostered through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to plead with his Iranian counterparts in her case.
It is about life and death. It is about the survival of one of the most courageous human rights activists of our time. It is about Nasrin, and all the other Nasrins.
Olof Palme International Center