Honorary Membership and Board of Trustees for Nasrin Sotoudeh / Jacqueline Elizabeth
Friday 19 April 2013, by
FeministSchool: The German Section of the International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) held its 41st Annual Conference in Bonn this past weekend whereNasrin Sotoudehâ€™s honorary membership and appointment to the advisory board of the International Society for Human Rights was announced.
Nasrin Sotoudeh is one of Iran’s most-known human rights activists and an attorney who represents numerous womenâ€™s rights activists andmembers of the democracy movement. Because of her work for human rights, Sotoudeh has been in jail since 2010. However, it is also because of her work that Sotoudeh was requested to become a member and appointed to the advisory board of the International Society for Human Rights.
Max Klingberg of the IGFM stated, "Nasrin Sotoudeh is one of the most important human rights activists of our time. Her courage and bravery have impressed the world. Her absolute and nonviolent commitment to human rights is directed against acts of brute force by the authorities and in support of freedom and the rule of law but overall she simply works for humans because they are humans. She acts not for ideological or religious reasons, but because there are people who need help. We (the IGFM) are happy, grateful and proud that Nasrin Sotoudeh has accepted the honorary board of trustees and a member of the International Society for Human Rights."
Amidst the many risks and obstacles of sending a message from Evin Prison in Tehran, Sotoudeh sent a letter anyways to be delivered by her dear friend Mrs. Mansoureh Shojaee, an exiled Iranian journalist and internationally recognized women’s rights activist. The letter was written in Farsi and was translated into German by Parisa Tonekaboni.
Shojaee felt it was not only important to share Sotoudehâ€™s letter with the General Assembly of ISHR on Sunday but also to speak to Sotoudehâ€™s character as well. Shojaee spoke of Sotoudeh as a woman with great strength and commitment. She stated Sotoudeh takes on many roles but she always stays true to each individual role.
â€œIf she is a mother, she is responsible, loving, and motherlyâ€¦ If she’s a lawyer she is in constant company of her clients in the court proceedings, in public, in legal and public meetings and resistance demonstrations. â€¦ As a wife she is selfless and as an activist she is dutiful. As a friend, she is trustworthy and as a journalist she is informative and educational. In all these individual and social roles her dutiful behavior and her way of an emotional security and confidence shines through.â€
Sotoudehâ€™s letter further reinforced Shojaeeâ€™s words describing her character, as the letter revealed that she will do anything she can even from within prison walls to end human rights violations. Sotoudeh used the letter as a platform to draw attention to and end violations against the families of political prisoners in Iran. Sotoudeh explained that her 49 day hunger strike was in protest to discrimination against her family, especially her 12 year old daughter.
Sotoudeh ended the letter by wishing success to â€œall members of the global human rights familyâ€ and also hoping â€œthat law and justice are achieved everywhere in the world.â€