National Lawyers Guild Urges the Release of Human Rights Defenders in Iran

Jan 7, 20110 comments

Statement of support for the safe release Iran’s human rights defenders The National Lawyers Guild expresses its support and solidarity with Iran’s human rights defenders who have been prosecuted and/or arrested due to their human rights activities. The National Lawyers Guild is especially concerned for the well being of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a colleague of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Shirin Ebadi, whose health is quickly deteriorating from three separate hunger strikes undertaken to protest her lack of due process. The National Lawyers Guild also urges the release of human rights lawyer, Mohammad Oliyafar who suffers from leukemia and was sentenced to one year prison for publicizing the case of his clients. The National Lawyers Guild condemns the systematic persecution of the founders and members of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, including the nine-year prison sentence dealt to Mohammad Seifzadeh, co-founder of the DHRC, and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah and Abdolfattah Soltani for establishing DHRC. We call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to adhere to the standards set-forth by the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which states that lawyers must be allowed to carry out their work “without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.” It also recognizes that lawyers are entitled to freedom of expression, including “the right to take part in public discussion of matters concerning the law, the administration of justice and the promotion and protection of human rights.” As peers of Iran’s detained human rights defenders, the National Lawyers Guild urges that 1. The Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh, all detained human rights defenders, and prisoners of conscience, and recognize that the world will hold the IRI accountable for the well-being of Nasrin Sotoudeh and all prisoners of conscience. 2. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay publicly call on the Islamic Republic to unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders. 3. The world’s governments and authorities work with their colleagues and appropriate bodies to ensure Nasrin Sotoudeh’s release and to call on Iran to end its persecution of human rights defenders. The National Lawyers Guild hopes in the coming days, the appropriate steps will be taken to remedy the dire situation of human rights defenders in Iran. David Gespass National Lawyers Guild President

About The National Lawyers Guild is a non-profit federation of lawyers, legal workers, and law students. Since 1937, Guild members have been using the law to advance social justice and support progressive social movements. There are chapters throughout the United States, and the National Office is located in New York City. The NLG is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. We seek to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests. The aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression. Learn more about The National Lawyers Guild here: