Freedom-Loving People of the World;
The life of Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian human rights lawyer and women rights activist, is in danger. Nasrin was arrested by Iranian authorities on 4th September 2010 for her activity in defending human rights in Iran and has been held in prison for more than 103 days. The prosecutor has charged her with propaganda against the state and also for actions against national security. Under Iranian law the accused can only be held in custody for a maximum of seven days without charge after the preliminary investigation has taken place.
Furthermore, under Iranian law it is illegal to hold the accused in solitary confinement after they have been charged. However, Mrs Sotodee has been held in solitary confinement since the day of her arrest and her lawyer’s attempts to get bail have fallen on deaf ears. As a result, Mrs Sotoudeh has decided to go on a hunger strike, in protest against the illegitimate circumstances surrounding her arrest. From the 4th December she has moved onto a dry hunger strike (no food or water).
Unfortunately, not only have they continued to keep her against her human rights they have further accused her of crimes against Islamic dress-codes in Iran .
We, the signatories of this Declaration, are a group of women’s rights activists, many of whom have worked alongside this brave lawyer or have been defended by her in the past. Blatant violation of her basic human rights and our desire to show solidarity with her have led us carry out a sit-in outside the United Nations offices in Genève from 20th December 2010.
We are appealing to all the free-thinking people of the world, women-rights activists and all the members of world human rights family to join us in our demand for freeing Nasrin Sotoudeh as soon as possible. Please support us in any way you can, from joining us in sitting-in protest to sending a protest e-mail and letter to Iranian government, organising a picket in front of Iranian embassies across the world or any other possible method. Please help us to reach the voice of our detained colleague to the world.
Shirin Ebadi, Khadijeh Mogaddam, Mansoureh Shojaee, Parvin Ardalan, Shadi Sadr, Asieh Amini, Mahbubeh Abbasgholizadeh