The United States strongly condemns the unjust and harsh verdict against human rights activist and respected lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh in Iran, and calls for her immediate release. Ms. Sotoudeh is a strong voice for rule of law and justice in Iran. We are dismayed by her continued detention and loss of the right to practice law.
Her conviction is part of a systematic attempt on the part of Iranian authorities to silence the defense of democracy and human rights in Iran. It is one in a series of harsh sentences targeting the lawyers of Iran’s human rights community which perseveres despite threats, torture, and imprisonment. We call on the Iranian government to address the international community’s “deep concern at serious human rights violations in Iran” as expressed in the December United Nations General Assembly resolution and to respect its human rights obligations, including its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The United States remains gravely concerned about Iran’s continued harassment, detention, and imprisonment of human rights defenders. For example, we understand that the trial of human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is reportedly underway, but it is proceeding without the transparency and due process guaranteed under Iranian law.
Iran’s leaders should know that their efforts to silence those Iranians who stand up for the rights of their fellow citizens do not go unnoticed. We once again join the international community in calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including those imprisoned for defending detainees or speaking out against human rights abuses, and urge Iran to afford its citizens those rights that are universal to all people.