Joint letter: Urgent request for intervention in favour of Mrs Nasrin Sotoudeh
1 November 2023

Joint letter: Urgent request for intervention in favour of Mrs Nasrin Sotoudeh


The undersigned organizations urge you to take concrete and urgent action in the case of Nasrin Sotoudeh, prominent and well-known lawyer and human rights defender .

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On Sunday, 29 October, the media broke the news that she had been arrested while attending the funeral of Armita Garavand, the 16-year-old girl who died after 28 days in a coma following her arrest by the infamous Morality Police in the Tehran metro .

She was taken along with other arrested women to the Vozara detention centre, the same one in which Mahsa Amini died last year . She was scheduled to be heard in her case on Monday, 30 October, at Evin prison, but was not brought to court because she refused to wear a veil.

She was then taken to Qarchak prison, known for its poor conditions of detention, and is currently on a hunger strike in protest, refusing both essential medication for her health and visits.

The Iranian authorities must immediately and unconditionally free Nasrin Sotoudeh, drop all charges against her and stop persecuting her for her efforts to protect, inter alia, women from discrimination and humiliation to which they are subjected in contravention of the principle of civilization enshrined in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ratified by Iran in 1948, according to which ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’ where dignity comes even before rights.

Likewise, the international community, including the EU given its ongoing dialogue with Iran, must condemn all forms of violence, including executions, discrimination and persecution, recognizing the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion, expression, assembly and association, as well as the right to a fair trial, as foundations of civilized living.

We Colleagues, Magistrates, NGOs and civil society are united and resolute in denouncing these violations of fundamental rights and freedoms and support human rights defenders. We no longer need martyrs to mourn, but heroes whose examples are to be followed.

We request a concrete statement from you, a decisive commitment to end the judicial harassment of Nasrin Sotoudeh, recalling the tenets of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers on the therein enshrined States’ responsibility .

If we do not defend human rights defenders, who will defend human rights?

We thank you for your attention and we look forward to your urgent and effective intervention.
Best regards,


Asociacion Libre de Abogadas y Abogados – Free Association of Lawyers

Avocats Européens Democrats / European Democratic Lawyers

Avocats Sans Frontières / Lawyers Without Borders

Avocats Sans Frontières / France

Conseil National des Barreaux les Avocats – National Bar Council of France / France

Consiglio Nazionale Forense / Italian National Bar Council

Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) / Europe

Défense Sans Frontière-Avocats Solidaires / France

Deutscher Anwalt Verein – The German Bar Association / Germay

European Criminal Bar Association

European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights

European Young Bar Association

Fédération des Barreaux d’Europe

Foundation Day of the Endangered Lawyer

Giuristi Democratici – Democratic Jurists / Italy

International Association of Lawyers, Institute for the Rule of Law

International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Monitoring Committee on Attacks on Lawyers

Institut des Droits de l’Homme des Avocats Européens (IDHAE)

Institut des Droits de l’Homme, Barreau de Bruxelles / Belgium

Lawyers For Lawyers / The Netherlands

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

Legal Team Italia / Italy

National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) / South Africa

New York City Bar / The United States of America

Observatoire International des Avocats en Danger / International Observatory for Lawyers (OIAD)

Ordine degli Avvocati di Venezia / Italy

Ordre des Avocats Geneve – Geneva Bar Association / the Switzerland

Ordre des Barreaux Francophones et Germanophone (AVOCATS.BE) – Association of French- and German-speaking Bar Associations / Belgium

Özgürlük İçin Hukukçular Derneği – Association of Lawyers for Freedom / Turkey

Progressive Lawyers’ Association / Turkey

Rechtsanwältinnen und Rechtsanwälte für Demokratie und Menschenrechte (RAV) / Germany

Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin – Berlin Bar Association /Germany

Syndicat des Avocats de France – Trade Union of Lawyers / France

The Law Society of England and Wales

Union of the Italian Criminal Chambers – Endangered Lawyers Observatory and Europe Observatory / Italy

Verenigung Sociale Advocatuur Nederland – Netherlands Association of Social Advocates


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