Shirin Ebadi, Iranian Nobel Peace laureate called for United Nation High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay to take action in case of Nasrin Sotoudeh, jailed Iranian human rights lawyer who was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Ebadi writes while UN human rights representatives were holding talks with Iranian authorities about human rights in Iran, Nasrin Sotoudeh was languishing in solitary confinement “deprived of all her legal rights.”
She adds that the outcome of these talks is “an unfair sentence” for Sotoudeh, as well as summonings of Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan and her lawyer, Nasim Ghanavi by the judiciary.
Shirin Ebadi insists: “The release of Nasrin Sotoudeh can only be realized through a fair trial, and attaining this absolute right is not possible without international support.”
Ebadi urges Navi Pillay to take all necessary action to ensure Sotoudeh receives a fair tial in Iran as she had earlier promised she would do in her earlier letter to Ebadi.
In November, Ebadi and six other Iranian activists staged a sit-in in front of United Nations offices in Geneva in protest to the arrest and imprisonment of Nasrin Sotoudeh.
The sit-in ended with a letter from Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner of Human Rights assuring the activists that she and her office will continue monitoring Sotoudeh’s case and holding Iran accountable on it.
Shirin Ebadi also said in an interview with Human Rights Reporters Committee that the heavy sentence against Sotoudeh is a sign of “the lack of independence of Iranian judiciary” because in the early days of her arrest, Sotoudeh’s interrogator had told her if she refuses to participate in a televised confession, she would get ten years in prison which has now be realized.
Shirin Ebadi announced that she will continue the struggle for the release of Sotoudeh though the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, International Association of Lawyers and other international bodies.
Nasrin Sotoudeh, whose law practice was mainly focused on human rights cases in Iran, was arrested last September and after months in solitary confinement, was finally sentenced to 11 years in prison and banned from law practice and travel abroad.
She went on hunger strike twice to protest against the delays in her case and irregularities in the proceedings against her.
She is charged with “activities against national security” “propaganda against the regime” and “failing to adhere to the Islamic hijab (wearing head covering)."