German parliamentarians demand permanent release of Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

Press releases 12.11.2020

Thirty-eight members of the German Bundestag demand the unconditional and permanent release of Iranian lawyer and 2020 Right Livelihood Laureate Nasrin Sotoudeh, according to an open letter published on Thursday.

The letter, along with a video message and the social media campaign #StandUp4Nasrin, comes just days after Iranian authorities released Sotoudeh for a temporary medical leave. Imprisoned since June 2018, Sotoudeh’s health has deteriorated rapidly in the past months.

The signatories include Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth (Die Grünen), Dr Anton Hofreiter (Chairperson of Die Grünen), Michael Brand (CDU), Gyde Jensen (FDP), Bärbel Kofler (SPD) and Gregor Gysi (Die Linke).

Acknowledging her current temporary release, German parliamentarians join the Right Livelihood Foundation in demanding that Iranian authorities free Sotoudeh permanently and drop all charges against her.

Given Sotoudeh’s precarious health condition, they also call for providing her with the medical care she needs.

Lastly, the open letter also urges Iran to guarantee that all human rights defenders are able to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals.

“We express our full solidarity with Ms. Sotoudeh, and we will continue to stand by her and all other human rights defenders pursuing the respect of fundamental freedoms for all Iranians,” the parliamentarians write.

In a video released alongside the open letter, parliamentarians call for international support for Sotoudeh, urging everyone to “Stand up for Nasrin.”

The online campaign launched by the Right Livelihood Foundation in coordination with PEN America, using the hashtag #StandUp4Nasrin, is meant to gather support for Sotoudeh around the world.

Sotoudeh, who had been detained in June 2018, was sentenced to a total of 38 years of imprisonment and 148 lashes in March 2019.

While in detention, Sotoudeh has conducted several hunger strikes to raise attention to the plight of political prisoners. Most recently, she conducted a 40-day hunger strike demanding the release of all political prisoners held amidst deplorable conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic. These hunger strikes have contributed to the worsening of her health.

On October 1, she was named one of the 2020 Right Livelihood Laureates “for her fearless activism, at great personal risk, to promote political freedoms and human rights in Iran.”


Read the whole text of the open letter.

Watch the German parliamentarians’ video message.


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