Nasrin Sotoudeh Resumes Dry Hunger Strike

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Change for Equality: During a phone call on Monday December 6, 2010, human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh told her family that she is resuming her dry hunger strike. Sotoudeh had previously gone on a long hunger strike (including a 9-day period during which she refrained from drinking water as well) to protest the illegal handling of her case.

Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist, was arrested on September 4th of this year and has been kept in solitary confinement ever since. Her court hearings were completed several days ago, yet instead of being released or transferred to the public ward of Evin prison, officials continued to detain her in solitary confinement. According to the website feministschool, earlier, Sotoudeh’s spouse, Mr. Reza Khandan, was informed by the judge that Sotoudeh’s temporary arrest would be extended.

According to Nasrin Sotoudeh, she is protesting illegal conditions imposed on her as well as on other prisoners who have been detained unjustly. Sotoudeh stated that she will continue her hunger strike until her rightful and legal demands are met. She mentioned the following as some of the facts in her case to which objects:

-  Continuation of my temporary arrest, which has lasted 95 days with officials not paying attention to the fact that I have two young children. Court hearings have concluded 9 days ago and there is nothing barring the repeal of the temporary arrest.

-  Promises made by several judicial and security officials as to my release from temporary arrest which have not been fulfilled.

-  Biased stance and violations by the judge assigned to my case, which was demonstrated in the presence of several legal professionals and colleagues including the honorable directors of the [Tehran] Bar Association, and the National Bar Association. The judge failed to preside over the court impartially, in effect demonstrating through his conduct that he has found me guilty prior to completion of the hearing and commencement of the sessions.

-  Disappearance of 12 formal letters and appeals submitted by me, which have vanished from my file.

-  Threats made to my attorneys in court by the judge.

-  Announcement made by the judge that my sentence will be heavier as a result of my choice of lawyers whom according to him the court does not approve of or trust.

-  95 days of solitary confinement under the intolerable conditions of section 209 of intelligence ministry as a means of delivering pressure on me. I have been kept in solitary confinement for the whole duration of my temporary arrest and was taken to court from and brought back to the cell, and currently despite the conclusion of the trial I am still kept in solitary confinement.

-  Not permitting in-person visitations with my two young children (except for one case during these 95 days, which lead to their added distress as a result of the guards’ quarrel with the family).

-  Imposing of various restrictions such as not giving me pen and paper.

-  Not informing me in time about my father’s death and preventing me from participating in his funeral. Although the questioning officer of the section was aware of my father’s passing, he concealed this news from me in the interrogation session eleven days eleven after he had died. It is the legal right of any prisoner to be able to request leave to participate in these situations.


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