Country of Origin: Iran
Occupation: Journalist, human rights lawyer
Detained: September 2011
Status: Serving a 6-year sentence in Evin prison
Nasrin Sotoudeh Langroudi attended Shahid Beheshti University and earned a Master’s degree in international law in 1989. At university she took an interest in the reformist politics of the Nationalist-Religious Coalition which opposed the Shah and formed part of the government after the 1979 Revolution.
In 1991, Sotoudeh and her associates launched Daricheh Goftegoo (Conversation Hatch), a popular current affairs magazine that opposed hardline political views.
Sotoudeh passed Iran’s bar exam in 1995, but had to wait eight years before being granted a licence to practice law, reportedly because of the authorities’ concerns about her political sympathies. When Sotoudeh received her licence to practice law in 2003 she joined Shirin Ebadi’s Center for the Defense of Human Rights and represented several political prisoners pro bono. Sotoudeh also joined the Society for the Protection of the Rights of Children and sat on its Board of Directors.
On September 4, 2010, Sotoudeh was arrested after being summoned to the special court in Evin prison to answer charges of “propaganda against the state.” Sotoudeh received an 11-year sentence from Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court on January 9, 2011. She was also banned from practicing law and from leaving the country for 20 years.
Sotoudeh has held several hunger strikes since January 2011 to protest her ill-treatment inside Evin prison. In May, her husband announced that she had lost a considerable amount of weight and, despite severe problems with her eyesight, she has been denied access to an optometrist. In mid-September 2011, her sentence was commuted to six years in prison and the legal ban reduced to ten years.
In October she received PEN Canada’s One Humanity Award on the opening night of the International Festival of Authors.
Send appeals for the immediate and unconditional release of Nasrin Sotoudeh to:
Chargé d’Affaires & Head of Mission
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
245 Metcalfe St.
Ottawa, ON, K2P 2K2
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2
Hon. John Baird
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Ambassador of Iran to the United Nations Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the United Nations
622 Third Ave. New York, NY 10017
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani,
Head of the Judiciary
c/o Public relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street
Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection