World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh Must Be Released, Say UN Experts

UN human rights experts* today condemned the return to prison of woman human rights defender and lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, and called for her immediate release.

“We are dismayed that the authorities willingly chose to again place Nasrin Sotoudeh at heightened risk by ordering her return to prison at this time, despite her COVID-19 positive test and contrary to the opinion of medical professionals,” the experts said.

“By ordering her return to prison, the authorities have taken an action that may have life-threatening consequences for her and further extended her arbitrary imprisonment, in violation of their obligations under international human rights law.”

On 2 December, the Prosecutor’s Office ordered Nasrin Sotoudeh to return to Qarchak prison the same day, after she had been temporarily released on 7 November. Following Sotoudeh’s positive test for COVID-19, her initial five-day temporary release was extended by two weeks. On 30 November, doctors recommended a resting period of an additional two weeks due to her COVID-19 infection.

“We repeat our call to the authorities to release Nasrin Sotoudeh as a matter of urgency and to allow her to receive the health care and rest she requires. We deeply regret that despite calls by the UN and the international community, Iranian authorities continue to criminalise Nasrin Sotoudeh for her work in defence of human rights.”

On 13 November, independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council had welcomed Sotoudeh’s temporary release, and urged the authorities to quash her convictions and ensure her release while reviewing her case.

Ms. Sotouteh, an internationally recognised human rights lawyer, is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted on seven charges in March 2019. Her convictions relate to the exercise of her profession as a lawyer, including defending women human rights defenders. UN experts have on numerous occasions raised serious concerns that her current detention is arbitrary and called for her release.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>

UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>