Nasrin Sotoudeh message to MEA: I am proud to defend each and very one of the cases I have accepted on behalf of my clients.

Having come together for the Martin Ennals Awards, a number of individuals representing some of the most renowned human rights organizations stated their support for the International Campaign in support of Nasrin Sotoudeh and while signing the campaign’s poster – which had in September also been signed by the Florence City Council members – demanded the freedom of Nasrin Sotoudeh.
Former Swiss President and newly-appointed Chair of the Martin Ennals Foundation, Micheline Calmy-Rey, Kang Kyung-wha United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights,…Loun Sovath Martin Ennals Award Laureate 2012, Mahnaz ParakandNasrin Sotoudeh’s Lawyer are among the signatories.


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Martin Ennals Award 2012


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Ms. Mahnaz Parakand, representative of Nasrin Sotoudeh who is currently detained in Iran:

Everyone who demands a priority for human rights, freedom and justice. I’m so glad that I have the honor to be presence at this glorious meeting and to receive this prestigious award of the Martin ennals foundation on behalf of my remarkable and brave colleague, Ms.Nasrin Sotoudeh, although I wish she was free so that she could be personally present at this meeting to receive this award that she really deserves.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is an independent, brave, and courageous lawyer who was threatened so many times by security agents to no longer accept cases of political defendants and no longer pursue their cases. She didn’t pay attention to threats of security agents and never accepted their illegal demands. She remained loyal to her oath as a lawyer to work for justice, honesty and integrity.

Nasrin Sotoudeh not only defended political defendants as a lawyer, but she has also been concerned about the defense of disadvantaged women and children. She was and is one of the devoted activists both for equal rights for women and children’s rights. Her impressive record in support of women’s rights and children, and number of cases in which she defended these vulnerable categories of Iranian society are the best evidence and indication of her aspirations, bravery, and courage.

More than two years ago, she was illegally arrested and spent more than 100 days in a solitary confinement cell. During which she was not allowed to meet with either her family or her lawyers. In order to express her objection against the inhuman and illegal processes of the judiciary system, she had no choice but to go on both wet and dry hunger strike.

This protest was Her objection against the illegal processes that the judiciary system of the Islamic Republic of Iran practice in every political and ideological case.

Since the tenth presidential election cycle in Iran in 2009, every voice of protest, every criticism and request for justice are considered as propaganda against the regime and acting against national security. Protestors, dissidents, and those who are concerned about their society are arrested by security institutions of the “revolutionary  guard” (Sepah) and the “information ministry” and sent to security detention centers. The situation and the atmosphere of the society have become very tense and prisoners have been interrogated under inhuman and illegal conditions. Some of the people detained experienced the most severe physical abuses and deadly tortures. The death of four prisoners arrested at street protests were officially announced and confirmed by the media of Islamic Republic of Iran. Their causes of death were the torture they have been subjected to in one of the detention centers called Kahrizak. 

thus, the numbers of political prisoners and those who were in prison because of their beliefs were increasing. Additionally, the pressure on lawyers was increasing. They were subjected to humiliation, insults and threats by the revolutionary courts which are dealing with political cases. In those days, a climate of terror was created. so the role of influential, courageous, and independent lawyers was even more important in getting the judiciary system closer to justice and toward implementation of the law. In that climate it was necessary that lawyers do their job more forcefully and with more bravery and independence. 

Nasrin Sotoudeh is one of those independent and brave lawyers who never feared humiliations, insults and threats coming from security organizations and judges. She continued more forcefully in her way of defending her political defendants and she revealed the judiciary systems’s irregularities and violations of human rights. In response, the regime silenced the voice of justice by sending lawyers to jail or forcing them to leave the country. It destroyed the rule of law uprooted all respect for citizen’s rights and in short, the regime sacrificed justice and equity by means of illegal and unfair trials.

Since I had the honor of being Nasrin’s lawyer, I’m explicitly announcing that her crime is only her love for humanity, justice seeking, commitment to the integrity of the legal profession and efforts to implement justice rule of law and respect for human rights in Iranian courts.

Thank to the Attribution of prestigious human rights awards to activists and human rights defenders, emphasizes the message that the human rights community insists on the implementation of international standards set by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It also shows that the international community is aware of any neglect or violations of human rights, any pressure put on human right’s defenders, wherever in the world, and reacts to it. Solidarity and cooperation among activists and supporters of human rights by means of human rights organizations such as the Martin Ennals Foundation empower and encourage activists and defenders of human rights in their struggle to attain a society governed by international human rights standards. 

Furthermore, it contributes to isolation and weakening of despotic rulers and human rights violators within the international community. 

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Nasrin Sotoudeh Message to Martin Ennals Award: 

Honorable chairman and board members of Martin Ennals Award, Please accept my sincere greetings from my homeland, Iran, and my deep appreciation for my nomination as one of the candidate for the Martin Ennals Award, from Evin prison in Iran. 

I’m honored to be among a group of outstanding nominees for one of the most prestigious human rights awards. 

I was delighted to hear that Martin Ennals Award ceremony is about to take place and decided to prepare a note for this occasion, even though I do not exactly know what I should say. This is because I am held under strict security conditions, as well as the ban for all political prisoners to access telephone calls has kept me from getting information on the outside world. Never the less, I always look for an opportunity allowing me to talk about human rights issues in Iran and I am grateful to have been presented with this opportunity.

First of all, I wish to express my outmost respect for my two co-nominees; The Venerable Luon Sovath from Cambodia, and the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR). I would be pleased for either to win this Award.  For, focusing international attention on human rights is important wherever in the world.

Like many amongst you, the passion for justice has been with me from my childhood. It has grown and developed within me, as I have in my youth, I realized that studying the law and becoming a lawyer would allow me to fulfil this passion.  

Despite all it’s difficulties, being a lawyer and defending the rights of children, women and those whose rights have been violated for seeking freedom, makes the dream of having justice possible.

Without Justice, even relative justice, life becomes unbearable. I have in my own way tried to realize that relative justice.

As you know, in my country, Iran, following certain political developments, some laws have been fundamentally changed. Among them, many laws concerning women and children’s rights have been transformed and the death penalty (executions by hanging) for people under age of 18 has been suspended. Though, before these changes, Iranian children were under threat of capital punishment for many years. this has been achieved through the effort made by many lawyers and human rights activists who have worked for several years against the law of capital punishment for people under the age of 18.

I do remember that as a result of those efforts, some lawyers have been imprisoned and the issue has become the main worry for many, such as me. At times we were totally overtaken by despair; at other times we were, once more, taking a stand and would renew our efforts. 

During this period of time, due to the widespread arrest of women activists who had protested the discriminatory laws against them, my colleagues and I became involved in a fight which reverberated around the world. 

Though, people with sensitive conscience, around the world, could ask Iranian; what they have done for the application of human rights, women rights or children rights? It can be said, that in spite of all difficulties and obstacles, Iranian activists have achieved some notable victories with regards to some human rights issues. 

when in 2009, following the presidential election, many Iranians were arrested and held in detention centers and prisons, many of my colleagues and I, relying on human rights principles and Iranian constitutional laws, which recognizes the fundamental right of accused to defense, engaged in defending political defendants, dissidents and election protestors. 

However, shortly after, those lawyers have been imprisoned alongside their clients to endure detention together. Being completely honest with you, during the widespread arrests which followed the 2009 election and while losing hope of changing the law on capital punishment of children, we turned to defending political prisoners. 

But, while we were in prison, we heard about the alteration of the capital punishment law for children and under 18 year’s olds.

Today, I now believe that we will never lose hope ever again and will work until the capital punishment law for under 18′s is totally eradicated. In this regard, we are not scared by imprisonment and confinement. 

Hearing the news on changes in the law of capital punishment for children, has taken away all the pain and suffering that I have endured, of being away from my family and in detention.

Dear friends, 

honorable Ladies and Gentelman, 

after my arrest, my family has been subjected to great pressure and as a result, my husband and my 12 year old daughter have been banned from leaving the country. 

But, in spite of all difficulties, as an attorney, I am still content and hopeful, for I believe that we have had no other choice but to defend women, children and defendants whose rights have been violated. 

The meaning of justice, rule of law, freedom of expression and thought, the rights of minorities and all the values upheld by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which are incorporated in the fundamental laws of most countries, are values which equally make the life for human kind, all over the planet, bearable.

These Values, as the common heritage of humanity, make the life of all humans livable and allows activists to resist pressure and interrogators’ threats …

Truly, in the current world, no one is alone. even within a solitary confinement. 

For many years, Iranian society has resisted the violation of it’s rights and has consciously avoided engaging in violence. Only through peaceful means, have the people tried to convince authorities to respect their rights. 

Therefore, Iranian society has never ignored it’s fundamental rights, but has paid heavily in doing so. 

They have never stopped their efforts because of arrest, Incarceration judicial prosecution, banned from leaving Iran and loss of their livelihood. And I, as their lawyer, am proud to defend each and very one of the cases I have accepted on behalf of my clients.

Furthermore, I am glad and satisfied to endure incarceration alongside my innocent clients. 

I finally wish to bring to the attention of human rights activists, the case and rights of children whose parents have been incarcerated as political prisoners and are held in detention centers.

These children are living their lives separated from their fathers, mothers or both and their visiting rights are subjected to arbitrary wishes and unlawful decisions of security officials. 

Once more, I wish to express my appreciations and gratitude to you. Whatever the outcome, I would like to thank you in advance for your choice, and congratulate either of the other two candidate whom might win this Award, wishing them success and prosperity in their path to reach their goal.

To the Martin Ennals Foundation and members of the jury please accept my thanks.

Nasrin Sotoudeh

Evin Prison – October 2012




Nasrin Sotoudeh message to MEA: I am proud to defend each and very one of the cases I have accepted on behalf of my clients. is a post from: Persian Icons – پرشین آیکانز and our Facebook page is


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