Press Release: Nasrin Sotoudeh Enters Fourth Week of Hunger Strike in Protest of Conditions of Confinement

Press Release: Nasrin Sotoudeh Enters Fourth Week of Hunger Strike in Protest of Conditions of Confinement 

November 20, 2012 – Washington , DC 

The Iranian American Bar Association (“IABA”) is alarmed by the actions of Iranian prison authorities regarding the conditions of confinement of Iranian human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh.  Sotoudeh is serving a six-year prison term in Tehran’s Evin prison after she was found guilty of “acting against national security” and creating “propaganda against the system.” Sotoudeh has also been banned from practicing law or traveling for ten years. 

Pursuant to Iranian law, prison authorities are required to provide basic necessities to all prisoners, to treat them with dignity and respect, and to allow them regular visits by family members. Additionally, Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which specifically provides that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Based upon available information, Iranian prison authorities have held Sotoudeh in solitary confinement and have imposed increasingly harsh restrictions upon Sotoudeh and her family due to her status as a political prisoner. Additionally, Iranian authorities have targeted Sotoudeh’s family by placing restrictions upon their ability to travel and by disregarding prison policy allowing scheduled family visitations.  Iranian prison authorities have prevented Sotoudeh from seeing her mother or brother in over a year and have prohibited her from seeing her children face to face.

To protest the conditions of her confinement and in particular, the travel ban placed upon her twelve-year-old daughter by Iranian authorities, Sotoudeh began an indefinite hunger strike on October 16, 2012.  Sotoudeh is now entering the fourth week of her hunger strike and Sotoudeh’s family is fearful that she will not survive.

IABA is deeply concerned for the well being of Sotoudeh and we strongly urge Iranian authorities to abide by Iranian law and the ICCPR.  Specifically, we urge Iranian authorities to release Sotoudeh from solitary confinement and to grant her the necessities she is entitled to, including weekly family visitation.