The case of jailed Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh and the situation of human rights in Iran were included in the resolutions adopted in the first 2011 plenary session of the European Parliament yesterday.
The European Parliament noted that Sotoudeh was arrested and sentenced to 11 years in prison for “spreading anti-regime propaganda”, “”acting against national security” and “not wearing hijab (Islamic dress code).” The resolution adopted by the Parliament notes that Sotoudeh was “held for long periods in solitary confinement, denied contact with her family and lawyer and came close to death after hunger strike to protest her prison conditions and violations of due process.”
Citing the arrest and sentencing of Shiva Nazar-ahari, co founder of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, to 4 year in prison and 30 lashes, that of Mohammad Seifzadeh to nine years in prison and 10 years ban from law practice, and the sentences against other Iranian lawyers and activists, Sotoudeh’s sentence is described as part of “a systematic assault on the human rights lawyers and activists in Iran."
The resolution also records a list of violations of prisoner rights ranging from “torture and sleep deprivation” to solitary confinement and clandestine detentions.
The resolution calls on the Islamic Republic to immediately and unconditionally release Sotoudeh as well as the other human rights defenders imprisoned in Iran, and urges Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief to demand the release of Sotoudeh and other jailed human rights activists from Iranian authorities in the talks that are taking place today and tomorrow between Iran and the G5+1 representatives in Istanbul.
The European Parliament encourages Islamic Republic authorities to allow for Red Crescent visits to prisoners and for human rights organizations to monitor the situation of human rights in the country.
The resolution also calls for a review of the sentence imposed on Zahra Bahrami, the Iranian-Dutch woman sentenced to death last month in Iran. Iranian judiciary is urged to “grant her a fair trial and access to Dutch authorities.”