Judges Association Calls for Release of Human Rights Laureate

Berlin. The German Judges Association (Deutscher Richterbund, DRB)  has called for the immediate release of the Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh. The 57-year-old laureate of the Human Rights Prize of the German Judges Association is in acute danger of death on a hunger strike in Evin prison in Tehran.

“Set Nasrin Sotoudeh free,” appealed the presidents of the German Judges Association, Barbara Stockinger and Joachim Lüblinghoff, to the responsible in Iran. On Tuesday, Sotoudeh received in Berlin the DRB Human Rights Prize in absentia. The Iranian women's rights activist Mansoureh Shojaee accepted the prize on her behalf. She too called for Sotoudeh’s immediate release: “There is still hope in building a better, a just world. And for that we need Nasrin.” Afterwards, a joint meeting with the German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was on the program.

In a letter of thanks sent by Sotoudeh, she dedicated her prize to four protestors who are faced with execution in Iran.

“I feel deeply honored and am sending you each my gratitude while sincerely admitting the significance of such support in helping us with the continuation of our civil actions.”

Sotoudeh has been on a hunger strike for weeks to protest against the conditions of detention during the corona pandemic.

The member of the German lower house of parliament, Omid Nouripour, said in his laudation: Sotoudeh’s “life is in danger at this very moment. The Swedish Foreign Minister demands her release. I would like to see more European foreign ministers to join her."

Sotoudeh most recently stood up especially for women who protested against the headscarf requirement. She was sentenced to eleven years in prison in 2010 for alleged propaganda against the system, but was released in 2013 after international protests. According to the International Society for Human Rights, she was most recently sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes. Iran has released numerous detainees so far during the pandemic. But Sotoudeh and other civil rights activists remained behind bars.

The Human Rights Prize of the German Judges Association has been awarded since 1991.

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