Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic His ... - PEN Canada

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic His ... - PEN Canada

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic

His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Shoahada Street,

Qom, Islamic Republic of Iran

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadeqh Larijani

Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh (Office of the Head of the Judiciary)

Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri

Tehran 1316814737

Islamic Republic of Iran

Excellencies --

I write you to share my concerns over the imprisonment of prominent lawyer, journalist and

writer, Nasrin Sotoudeh.

According to PEN Canada’s information, security officers raided Ms Sotoudeh’s home and

office on August 29, 2010, confiscating files and documents and freezing her assets. On

September 4, 2010, she was summoned to a special court in Evin prison and arrested. She was

denied access to a lawyer and restricted from family visits for the first several months of her


On January 9, 2011, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced Ms Sotoudeh to 11 years in

prison for “propaganda against the regime,” “acting against national security,” and “violating the

Islamic dress code (Hijab) in a filmed speech.” She has also been banned from practicing law or

leaving the country for 20 years. (These sentences have since been reduced to 6 years in prison

and a 10-year legal ban.)

The charges stem from Ms Sotoudeh’s outspoken advocacy for clients arrested after the June

2009 presidential elections, and from interviews given to human rights organizations and media

about their cases.

Sotoudeh has held several hunger strikes since her arrest, at one point even refusing water

during one 11-day stretch, to protest her detention and ill-treatment inside Evin Prison. She has

reportedly lost a considerable amount of weight and is in poor health. She has been held in Ward

209 of Evin Prison, where she has spent much of the time in solitary confinement. There are

constant concerns for her well-being.

I believe Nasrin Sotoudeh has been imprisoned for nothing more than the peaceful exercise of

her right to freedom of expression, a right guaranteed by Article 19 of the International Covenant

on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a signatory. I therefore call for her immediate and

unconditional release.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.




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