The French National Bar Council has draped a large photo of Nasrin Sotoudeh, imprisoned Iranian lawyer, on its Paris headquarters.
Christiane Féral-Schuhl, head of the French National Bar Council, told VOA Persian: “All French lawyers are standing with Nasrin Sotoudeh. This Iranian lawyer has been convicted of the most unacceptable punishments in the 21st century, only because she is a lawyer.”
“She is a women’s attorney, as far as the the rulers in Iran are concerned,” Féral-Schuhl added. “The right of a lawyer to speak, should always remain free. We are worried because Iran is a member of the UN Commission on Women’s Rights. This is an unacceptable and highly negative message about a state that claims to be one of the largest nations in the world. This is a big step backwards that hurts women, lawyers and freedom of expression. “
Nasrin Sotoudeh has been repeatedly jailed in recent years. While still in prison, she was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes in a new sentence.
“The case itself is a symbol,” said Basil Ader, deputy director of the French National Bar Council. “Sotoudeh is a brave lawyer who has been awarded twice for her achievements: once with the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2012, and the next in 2018, she received the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize,” he added.
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, tweet the following immediately after the ruling:
I strongly condemn utterly outrageous Iranian government sentence passed against #SakharovPrize laureate, Nasrin Sotoudeh. She’s dedicated her life to defending women’s rights and speaking out against the #deathpenalty. The @Europarl_EN stands with her https://t.co/088WRnCHo0
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) March 12, 2019
Ader added: “When we heard about the unbelievable and cruel sentence handed down to her, which sounded like something from the Middle Ages, our commitment to her defense became stronger and more determined. We have drawn up a petition that has already collected 250,000 signatures on the change.org.”
“We have hung this massive banner in Paris and another beside the Notre Dame, which would be more visible to the general public, and tourists along the River Basin will be aware of this,” the French lawyer added. We call on the French authorities to demand Iran to revise its ruling. After talking with other non-governmental organizations and Sotoudeh’s defense attorney, we organized the march.”
The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo also commented on Twitter: “All my support for the lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, incarcerated in Iran because she’s a human rights and women’s emancipation activist. I ask for all to sign the petition launched by @CNBarreaux for her release.”
Tout mon soutien à l’avocate Nasrin Sotoudeh, incarcérée en Iran parce que militante des droits humains et de l’émancipation des femmes. J’appelle à signer la pétition lancée par le @CNBarreaux pour sa libération. https://t.co/iJpum4pTxZ
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) March 14, 2019
The U.S. State Department, the international community and civil rights activists have condemned Ms. Sotoudeh’s verdict.