Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei,
The Office of the Supreme Leader
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
Islamic Republic of Iran
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
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.