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Persian Letters

The Rare 'Feeling Of Getting Your Rights From The Islamic Republic'

Nasrin SotoudehNasrin Sotoudeh
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Nasrin Sotoudeh
Nasrin Sotoudeh
Prominent Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh ended her hunger strike earlier this week after the authorities reportedly removed a travel ban they had imposed on her young daughter.

Her husband, Reza Khandan, reported the news on his Facebook page on December 4.

The news led to expressions of joy on social-media sites among Iranians who had been following the case very closely.

For many it was a victory for Sotoudeh, who has refused to stay silent despite her time in jail and pressure on her family. A hunger strike is one of the few forms of protest that Iranian political prisoners have used in recent years to express themselves against the denial of some of their basic rights.

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, whom Sotoudeh has represented in court, told RFE/RL Radio Farda correspondent Jamshid Zand that "Sotoudeh's resistance" led to what she described as "her victory."

She said Sotoudeh's refusal to eat, which created domestic and international concern for her health, forced Iran's authorities to respect the law and remove the travel ban on her daughter.

Nevertheless, Sotoudeh remains in Tehran's Evin prison, where she is serving a six-year sentence for acting against national security and spreading propaganda, charges that many consider trumped up and linked to her work as a lawyer and rights activist.

The popular "Is This a Country We're Having?" Facebook page also welcomed the end of Sotoudeh's hunger strike by expressing what is on the mind of many of her supporters.

"I wish I could feel what you're feeling now. You felt what 70 million Iranians have never felt: the feeling of getting your rights from the Islamic republic."

Meanwhile, the Facebook page of Sotoudeh's husband has been flooded with messages of support and congratulation.

"Once again our Nasrin taught us a lesson. While facing injustice, instead of bowing to the authorities, we must force them to respect our rights," wrote one woman, apparently in Iran, who added that she's hoping for Sotoudeh's speedy release.

"Praise to Nasrin for her steadfastness," read another message posted on Khandan's Facebook page.

--Golnaz Esfandiari

Tags: sotoudeh

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by: Frank from: London
December 05, 2012 15:26
Three cheers for Mrs Sotoudeh. There was a good OpEd today in the Daily Mail by Baroness Muriel Turner asking for Europe to put more pressure on Iran to obey it human rights obligations. I am saddened that Ms Amanpour (CNN) in the last interview she did with the elder Larijani brother (the one in charge of "human rights") in Iran gave him far too easy a time. He speaks English well and so probably fools a lot of people, and he recently had a web site shut down that questioned a land deal that enriched his family, presumably at the expense of the Iranian nation. I hope they are all put on trial soon at the Hague for their human rights abuses. I know Ms Amanpour is of Iranian descent but it was a lapse of judgement not to put Mr. Larijani under more pressure, I think. It is time Larijani was told he could end up in the Hague if he doesn't do more to get Mrs Sotoudeh released.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
December 06, 2012 18:31
Aaah,the great Daily Wail-RFE/RL Western concern for human rights in Iran!!! The persians should lick some shamerican rears Saudi American style and everything will be OK !!! Just see how splendidly the Saudi Sultan has established his exemplary demockracy !!! Three cheers for Demockracy and the bankrupt Daily Wailers-we all hope they find some soviet kgb money launderer to bail them out -just like they found one for the Evening Standard.Rule Brittania,Britania rule the waves!!! Dieu et mon Droits!!!

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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Seen anything in the Iranian blogosphere that you think Persian Letters should cover? If so, contact Golnaz Esfandiari at esfandiarig@rferl.org

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