23rd October 2012
Award Winning Human Rights Attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh on Day Seven of Hunger Strike in Iran
"I did everything in my power to dissuade her of this decision, but she was adamant," Reza Khandan, Nasrin's husband.
Nasrin Sotoudeh - Iranian human rights lawyer, is also a mother. She is not able to hug her children and show them how much she loves them. Nasrin's children are ages 5 and 12 and by now they might sense that their mother will likely remain in prison, as they grow up without her. They probably don't understand the logic behind her being in prison, as most of the people that become aware of her grave situation don't either.
Her husband reports that, on day six of the hunger strike, she is very weak and does not look well:
"Even without a hunger strike she has lost so much weight and is so weak that she is unrecognizable to those who have not seen her for a while… and now this."
Back in January 9, 2011, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was sentenced to five years in prison for 'violating the Islamic dress code (Hejab)' in a filmed acceptance speech in 2008, in which she was accepting a Human Rights Prize by the International Committee on Human Rights. Five years were added to the sentence for 'acting against the national security of the country' and one year was added for 'propaganda against the regime'. The fact is that she remains imprisoned for staying true to her profession and for defending her clients.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran says the 'UN Human Rights Council Should Act to Address the Crisis. The ICHRI also says that Nasrin has 'reportedly been tortured in prison in order to force her to confess to crimes that she is innocent of'.
Under the concept of a fair trial, the key point is to have access to lawyers and this is not being practiced. It is routinely being violated.
Article 168 of the Iranian constitution states: 'All political prisoners are afforded right to a jury trial and must be public'. explained Human Rights Lawyer, Mehrangiz Kar, when discussing Ms. Sotoudeh's case.
Ms. Kar also added "When there is not a jury during the trial, that trial is not legal even under the Islamic Republic's structure. This has been routinely violated since the 2009 elections.... She always followed the law, made sure that her speeches were free of slogans and concentrated on what is lawful. She stayed within the boundaries of law".
Human rights activists world wide have joined in to bring awareness to Nasrin's cries for help. To show their solidarity with this incredible woman, they have been organizing "Tweet Storms" which began Friday, October 19 at 1 p.m. EST and continued throughout the weekend. They are using the hashtag is #IamNasrin. According to the organizers of the 'Tweet Storm', "The goal is to encourage media, journalists, bloggers, reporters, lawyers, mothers, women's rights groups, human rights activists, groups, and concerned citizens to stand in solidarity with Nasrin. Social media plays a very important role in consciousness-awareness raising. We should all do our parts to be Nasrin's voice because hers has been silenced. The Regime in Iran must be held accountable for its crimes against humanity".
A special Facebook event page - "Tweet Storm for Nasrin", has been created to keep activists and the public informed of Nasrin's condition as she battles the brutal conditions of her imprisonment.