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Nasrin Sotoudeh

On 4 September 2010 another human rights lawyer was arrested in Iran. Nasrin Sotoudeh is the lawyer of – among others – the Iranian-Dutch human rights activist Zahra Bahrami, who recently turned out to have been detained in an Iranian prison over the last few months. Whether Sotoudeh’s arrest is linked to the Bahrami case is unclear, but it is one of the cases Sotoudeh has been working on lately.

Security agents searched Sotoudeh’s home and office in the weekend of 28 August 2010. On this occasion, work documents, a computer and several personal belongings were taken. On basis of the search, Sotoudeh was charged with conducting “activities against the national security” and spreading “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”. She was summoned to appear at the court of the Tehran Evin prison within three days. After being interrogated there, she was arrested.

Sotoudeh was summoned to the taxation bureau of the court. Before her arrest she said to the ‘Campaign for Human Rights in Iran’ that she believes that the authorities use forged tax charges to be able to prosecute human rights lawyers, who often work pro bono. At the taxation bureau, she found out that her name was on a list where 30 more human rights lawyers were mentioned, who possibly are being investigated by the bureau as well.

The arrest of Nasrin Sotoudeh is another sign of the smear campaign against human rights activists and – lawyers that has been going on since the disputed elections of June 2009. Therefore, L4L called upon the authorities to stop the harassment of Sotoudeh and her colleagues in Iran. Here you can find the example letters that were sent in September 2010.

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