News Column

Social Media Users Condemn Iran Lawyer's Imprisonment

November 9, 2012

Several Iranian social media users have called for more efforts to secure the release of jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotudeh and accused the authorities of killing blogger Sattar Beheshti.

Sotudeh went on a hunger strike in mid October in protest at prison officials' refusal to allow her to see children.

She represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the riots after the June 2009 presidential elections, and was arrested in September 2010 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security and sentenced to 11 years in prison and banned from working as a lawyer. Her prison sentence was later commuted to six years.

Sattar Beheshti was arrested by the cyber police on national security charges on 30 October and subsequently died at the remand centre.

Bloggers

Blogger "rjgoli" reported on the Balatarin blog-sharing website on 8 November that a group of former political prisoners in Iran had written a letter to the Tehran prosecutor, urging him to meet the demands of the jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotudeh so that she ends her hunger strike. The letter, which was signed by 50 people, says that depriving Sotudeh of the chance to see her family does not fit into any moral, religious and human framework, the blogger said. (http://balatarin.com/topic/2012/11/8/1012182)

Blogger "sight" posted a note headlined "Why should the government back off before Nasrin's hunger strike if they killed Sattar" on 8 November. He said that blogger Sattar Beheshti was killed under torture. He added that Nasrin Sotudeh is not the only political prisoner in the country. "Nasrin Sotudeh ... is on a hunger strike. There are others who have gone on a hunger strike for similar reasons," the blogger said. (http:// greenmanifesto.wordpress.com)

Blogger "hamsada" called for more efforts to ensure that Sotudeh's demands are met and she ends the hunger strike. "Amid the news related to the killing of Sattar Beheshti, American elections, execution of prisoners, etc, we should not forget that Nasrin Sotudeh is still on a hunger strike," he wrote on 8 November. (http:/ /sabzezaran.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/blog-post_8.html)

Blogger "neshador" said on 8 November that Nasrin Sotudeh's life is in danger, noting that he has been on a hunger strike for 24 days already. "We should spare no effort for her freedom," he said. (http://neshador.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/nasrin)

Blogger "chinejan" said on 6 November that responsibility for the lives of political prisoners lies with the people because of their silence rather than with Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i. (http:/ /chinejan.wordpress.com)

Blogger "Fereshteh" called on people not to forget about Nasrin Sotudeh. "Do not forget the woman who is in a cold and damp cell..., but intends to resist because of her belief in the triumph of justice," he said. "All this is for me and for you, and for the tomorrow of Iran and a better future for children of the future," the blogger wrote on 4 November. (http://gheichi.blogdoon.com/ #post=50)

Twitter

Twitter user "Persian Banoo" wrote on 8 November: "Sotudeh is a woman, mother and civil rights lawyer imprisoned in Iran 4 speaking up4 ppl's rights."

User "FREEDOM FOR Iran" said on 8 November: "Don't forget Nasrin Sotudeh. She is on a wet hungerstrike and is being held in solitary confinement."

Another user "Mehr" said on 7 November: "Call2save the life of Nasrin Sotudeh&2support other striking women political prisoners."

User "Saeed Kamali Dehghan" wrote on 8 November: "No surprise Iran state media remained mute on death in custody of blogger Sattar Beheshti but why foreign agencies like AP, AFP and Reuters?"

User "FREEDOM FOR Iran" wrote on 9 November: "((( Last blog post of martyr Sattar Beheshti ))) Long live Iran and Iranians, let my life be sacrificed for Iran. Author: Sattar."



Source: (C) 2012 BBC Monitoring Central Asia. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved