The Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been on hunger strike in a Tehran prison for eleven days. Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement in Berlin today (10 November):
“It is with grave concern that I have been following the news of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s deteriorating state of health.Her arrest is part of a systematic campaign against defenders of human rights in Iran which has been going on for several months. As we can see in her case, this encompasses fundamental infringements of procedural law.I urge the Iranian justice system to release Nasrin Sotoudeh with immediate effect. Iran is called upon finally to honour the international commitments to protect civil and political rights which it has itself entered into.”
Nasrin Sotoudeh has publicly condemned deficiencies in Iran’s respect for the rule of law on several occasions. Among those she has represented are prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were under 18 and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was summoned to appear in court in Tehran on 4 September and afterwards arrested. There has still been no official charge. Her legal representative has been denied permission to interview her.
Nasrin Sotoudeh started a hunger strike on 31 October to protest against her imprisonment and the conditions in which she is being held.