Nasrin Stoutdeh: Why Are You Punishing our Twelve Year Old Daughter, because of the Actions of her Mother?
Why do you punish our 12 year old child because of the actions of her mother?!! These are the words of Nasrin Sotoudeh, lawyer, human rights activist, child rights activist and women’s rights defender. Sotudeh who until her arrest was representing minors on death row and over 40 civil and political activists, has been unjustly sentenced to serve 6 years in prison. Nasrin Sotudeh has been in Evin prison since September 4, 2010, has not been allowed to take furlough and has been denied in person visitation with her family for over 4 months.
The pressure on Nasrin’s family was intensified through an order to ban her 12 year old daughter from travel. Nasrin Sotoudeh has been on unlimited hunger strike since October 17, 2012, in protest of the travel ban imposed on her daughter Mehraveh. Her demand is not only just, but it is legal as well. She asks: “why are you punishing our 12 year old child because of her mother?” This simple and basic question has been left unanswered by the authorities of Islamic Republic of Iran. In their failure to respond they have chosen to be silent in the face of the question of a human rights lawyer. They have also failed to acknowledge the rights of a prisoner, an imprisoned mother for that matter, who has used the only means available to her, her body and her health, as a vehicle for protest.
Nasrin entered her 42nd day of hunger strike on November 27, 2012, her physical health has reached a critical state and she has been transferred to the prison’s infirmary. After their last visit, Reza Khandan, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband, had the following to say: “A sense of alarm has left me no other choice but to warn everyone. The officials at the Judiciary can deny everything, but the truth always prevails and crashes upon those who claim ignorance.” In her simple question, Nasrin Sotoudeh unveils the truth behind the violation of rights of prisoners, especially women and mothers in Iran.
We the signatories of this letter, while expressing our support for the legal and most basic demands of Nasrin Sotoudeh, urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to respond positively to the demands of Nasrin Sotoudeh, by lifting the travel ban imposed on her daughter. We further urge the IRI to end the practice of punishing children because of the resistance and actions of their mothers.
Nasrin Sotoudeh’s life is in danger. Her physical health on the 42nd day of her hunger strike has reached a critical stage. While expressing our concern for the situation of Nasrin, we warn that the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are responsible for the physical well-being of Nasrin; we hold them accountable for any physical and emotional damage to Nasrin and urge them to move quickly and immediately to ensure her health and wellbeing and to meet her demands.
We ask all human rights organizations, feminist organizations, children’s organizations and all social movements across the globe to support us, by voicing your objection to the continued violation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.