Nasrin Sotoudeh needs our support now – an open letter from her husband Reza Khandan

September 25, 2020

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Iranian Human Rights Lawyer and Martin Ennals Finalist 2012, has been detained at Tehran’s Evin prison since June 2018 for peacefully defending human rights. In August this year, she went on hunger strike to protest for the release of all political prisoners in Iran whose situation has been further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In this open letter, Nasrin’s husband Reza Khandan, sheds a light on the increasingly worrying situation Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing:


“Forty-three days ago, Nasrin Sotoudeh started with her hunger strike.

Last Saturday, she was transferred from the Evin-Prison to Taleghani Hospital in Tehran due to her poor health condition and breathing, as well as heart problems, and is currently in the intensive care unit there.

The security authorities have done everything to her with the aim of creating one of the most inhuman conditions in the hospital, to isolate her from the outside world, to prevent any contact so that she can submit to the will of the security guards. One of the worst officers has been entrusted with this task as head of the security team.

As relatives of Nasrin Sotoudeh, we neither have access to medical documents nor do we have the opportunity to inquire about the treatment or the medical results and findings. As relatives, we are constantly being verbally abused by the security team and threatened with arrest.

The hospital violates all rules and behaviors that govern the relationship between the doctor and patient and is intimidated by the security team.

I tried twice to meet the head of the hospital, but to no avail. I wasn’t even allowed into his anteroom.

The patient who is said to have serious heart problems is put under massive stress by the security team. When we tried to communicate with Nasrin Sotoudeh, the same security officer pushed her back into the intensive room with her wheelchair and angrily slammed the door behind him. We could then hear the screams of Nasrin, who was previously exhausted and barely able to speak to us.

Although only the hospital staff are authorized to move the patients in wheelchairs, Nasrin Sotoudeh is transported in the wheelchair by the security team, even though their actual job is only to guard her.

Nasrin is very weak and her general condition is very poor (lack of white blood cells). Nevertheless, she was placed in the general intensive care unit with ten other patients and their relatives for two days. The risk of being infected with Covid-19 in such an environment seems to be very high.”

Share this open letter on Facebook to call on the Iranian authorities for the immediate release of Nasrin Sotoudeh.