Amnesty International has appealed to the Iranian authorities for an unconditional and immediate release of Nasrin Sotoudeh. Nasrin is a human rights lawyer. She has dedicated her life to defend women’s rights.
She has protested against Iran’s forced veiling laws.
“No one should spend a single day in prison for saying that women should be allowed to wear what they want”.
Amnesty International UK is calling on Iranian authorities to overturn “one of the harshest sentences” seen in Iran against a human rights defender in recent years.
After two grossly unfair trials, Nasrin has been separated from her husband and two children. She was given the harshest sentence possible, just for saying women should wear what they want.
Having contracted COVID-19, Nasrin was briefly released from prison on temporary leave. However, after only a few weeks with her family, she was returned to prison on 2 December 2020, against health professionals’ recommendation. They said, she remained infectious with the disease.
With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in prisons across Iran, Nasrin’s life could be at risk. Prisoners are at risk because they cannot adhere to the same social distancing and hygiene measures as those outsides of prison to protect themselves.
“It is essential that the Iranian authorities unconditionally release Nasrin permanently”, the NGO said.
What did Nasrin do?
Women and girls in Iran are not allowed to leave their homes unless they cover their hair with a headscarf and cover up their arms and legs with loose clothing.
A movement against the compulsory hijab erupted in Iran in 2017 when one woman staged a solo act of resistance. She removed her headscarf and silently waved it on the end of a stick.
Countless women across the country joined her, staging their own protests. They become known as the “Girls of Revolution Street.”
Nasrin defended some of these women for which she had been sentenced.
“Nasrin has been targeted before. In 2010 she was sentenced to six years in prison for her human rights work. But when thousands of people like you stood up to demand her freedom, she was pardoned and released. Our campaign worked then, it can work again for Nasrin now. She is not a criminal, she is a human rights defender”, appeals the Charity organisation.
Apart from Amnesty International UK, there are various other charity organisations across the globe who are appealing to free the lawyer.