Human Rights Lawyer Summoned: “Drop The Ebadi Case Or Face Problems!”

Sep 9, 20100 comments

Following the mounting pressure on human rights activists and lawyers, Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer has been targeted by security officers.  In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, she said that charges of “actions against national security,” and “propagating against the Islamic Republic regime” have been waged against her.  She called the charges “absurd.” Security forces simultaneously entered and searched Nasrin Sotoudeh’s home and offices, confiscating personal computers and her clients’ case files.  They also served her with court summons.  She is obligated to appear at Evin Prison Courts during the next three days. Ms. Sotoudeh is lawyer to several human rights activists such as Shirin Ebadi, as well as Ebadi’s husband and sister, and this is the reason for threats on her.  “Four months ago, someone contacted my husband and told him that Sotoodeh must drop the Ebadi case or she will face problems,” she said. Nasrin Sotoudeh said her office and home were searched for four hours on orders from the Evin Prison Courts, signed by Mr. Farahani.  “I am faced with the two charges of “actions against national security,” and “propagating against the Islamic Republic regime…these are absurd accusations which have been waged against many of my clients, too,” Sotoodeh said about the incident. The Campaign asked Nasrin Sotoudeh what would happen to her clients if she were arrested.  “According to the law, the attorney’s arrest does not eliminate his or her responsibilities and the lawyer can continue to defend his/her clients.  Additionally, I co-represent many of my cases with other colleagues.  In the event of my arrest, they can pursue the cases,” Sotoudeh replied.  Referring to some of her clients’ cases, she said:  “[My clients] Mr. Tabarzadi and Mr. Khadem will have their trials on 7 September 2010, and on 13 September 2010, My client Mr. Seifzadeh, himself a human rights lawyer, [will have his trial].” Nasrin Sotoudeh is an International Law graduate of Shahid Beheshti University.  She wrote legal articles for independent newspapers such as Toos and Neshat, and started her legal practice in 2003.  She has represented several individuals who were arrested after last year’s presidential election.  Issa Saharkhiz, Morteza Kazemian, and Kayvan Samimi are some of her clients.  Shirin Ebadi and her husband are two of Sotoudeh’s other clients.