FREE THE DEFENDER OF THE 'GIRLS OF REVOLUTION STREET'
You may have never heard her name, but it popped up on my feed on Instagram this morning and I had to look her up. Nasrin Sotoudeh is an internationally renowned human rights lawyer who was sentenced in Iran to 38 years in prison, and 148 lashes for fighting for women's rights.
This is the harshest sentence against a human rights lawyer in Iran in recent years, and what I found even more shocking is that it all happened nearly a year ago!
Yes, Nasrin was arrested at her home on 13 June 2018 and on 12 March 2019 she was sentenced to jail in Tehran.
Just to give you a bit of background on what she was working on:
Women and girls in Iran are not allowed to leave their homes unless they cover their hair with a headscarf and cover up their arms and legs with loose clothing.
In 2017, a movement against the compulsory hijab started in Iran when one woman removed her headscarf publicly and waved it on the end of a stick.
Women across the country joined her in protest and did the same, becoming known as the “Girls of Revolution Street.”
In 2018, Nasrin defended some of these women who faced prosecution and this is the main reason why she has been jailed.
I don't know about you, but this story broke my heart this morning. Not just for Nasrin and her family, but for all the women in Iran and in other countries around the world who still live under repressing regimes that spits on their human rights.
Women should be able to choose what they wear, and lawyers should be able to defend their right to do so.
This, by the way, isn’t the first time Nasrin has been jailed. In 2010 she was sentenced to six years in prison for her human rights work, but after thousands of people demanded her freedom, she was pardoned and released.
This is why I am sharing her story with you.
A campaign to release Nasrin is running at the moment and I urge you to join it and use your voice to help her.
She is not a criminal, but a human rights defender, and we must not allow anyone to squash such beacons of light, even in the name of religion.
It is wrong, it is wrong, it is wrong!
Sign a petition to free Nasrin here.