A great many people have already raised their voices and carried out actions on behalf of imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. No one should ever think that even the smallest action they take on behalf of another human being suffering an injustice will go unnoticed. The Iranian government certainly notices when we protest their human rights violations. In my blog posting of yesterday I neglected to clarify one very important thing: Amnesty International does not call for hunger strikes nor does it endorse hunger strikes undertaken by individual members such as myself. This was a personal decision I made as an individual. I regret that I did not make that more clear in the previous posting.
Nasrin Sotoudeh is now on the tenth day of her hunger strike. Several other prominent Iranian prisoners of conscience have undertaken recent hunger strikes as it is one of the few options available to them to protest the conditions of their unjust imprisonment. They resort to this measure as the Iranian authorities fail to uphold the theoretical protections that exist in their own Constitution, not to mention all of the international human rights agreements that Iran has signed such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Nasrin Sotoudeh has two young children, age three and eleven. They were finally permitted to visit her in prison a few days ago. Ms Sotoudeh was so weak she was not even able to hug her children, and their father reported that they were crying after the visit. We have to wonder how any government can tear a mother away from her children solely because of her commitment to carrying out her professional obligations to represent her clients properly. Nasrin Sotoudeh is taking a stand. She has been watching as the Iranian government has been carrying out a systematic and vicious campaign to completely undermine the Iranian legal system by persecuting lawyers. No country can claim to have a functioning legal system or operate under any semblance of a rule of law if its lawyers are put in prison for doing their job. Please write a letter today on behalf of Nasrin Sotoudeh. Please tell all your friends and relatives to do the same. If we can flood the Iranian authorities with appeals I believe we can save Nasrin Sotoudeh and send her back home to her husband and two children. Thank you to everyone who cares so much about this brave woman.