Nasrin Sotoudeh Langroudi

Nasrin Sotoudeh Langroudi

Nasrin Sotoudeh (Iran - 1963), after having completed her law studies in Tehran, devoted herself to the profession of lawyer. Her work has particularly distinguished itself for its defence of numerous human rights activists who were unjustly imprisoned for their commitment to the recognition of fundamental rights against the Iranian authorities and limited in their rights.

She got also famous for her defence of indigent minors, who were tortured and sentenced to death. She also supported the women who were involved in the signature campaign "One Million Signatures Campaign" against Iran's discriminatory laws against women and in particular against the unilateral and illegitimate rights of men in the areas of divorce, polygamy and child custody.

On 12.06.2008, at the National Day of Solidarity of Iranian women in Tehran, 8 protesting activists were arrested. They were then indicted for involvement in an unauthorized protest action against the Iranian authorities. Nasrin Sotoudeh, who immediately accepted their defence, was also arrested, imprisoned and then only released because she had to nurse her newly born son.

The awardee has published the following article on human rights:

  • “Women’s Rights, before and after revolution”, Nameh Magazine Feb. (2004)
  • “Women’s Rights, before and after revolution”, Nameh Magazine February (2004)
  • “Who is responsible for children rights?”, Aban, 139. (2004)
  • “Who is responsible for children rights?”, Aban, 139. (2004)
  • “Women’s Rights in constitutional laws: Japan, Russia, United States of America, Bulgaria and Iran”, jomhouriat Newspaper, 9. (2004)
  • “Chain murders in Iran”, Aban Magazine. (Nov. 1999)
  • “Women world day and Iran’s law”, Aban, 68. (1999)
  • “Political crimes in the law and criminology”, jame’eh Newspaper. (1998).

In her homeland, she is constantly working together with the Nobel Peace Prize winner of the year 2003, Shirin Ebadi.

Her constant commitment to human rights as well as to the defence of human rights defenders, have led HRI to confer visibility and international recognition to her courage and efforts.

MERANO (Italy), December 2008

The Administrative Board of HRI

The President

RA Dr. WOLFGANG WIELANDER

News to the Human-Rights-International (HRI)-Award 2008

More than 100 persons were present in the meeting room of the Steigenberger Hotel in Merano to attend to the first award ceremony of the Human Rights International (HRI) Award 2008. Culmination of the evening was the presentation of the award to Reza Khandan Heris, the husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, and their nine year old daughter Mehrawe. His speech and the following video message by Sotoudeh were very emotional moments.

The evening was an enormous success. The presentation of the HRI-Award took place in a very solemn setting and there were many emotional and touching moments.

The hosts, Adi Pfitscher of HRI and Sissi Prader of the Women’s Museum of Merano, inaugurated the evening. Both of them were very disappointed, that Nasrin Sotoudeh couldn't take part, but in her absence, they were pleased to welcome Nasrin Sotoudeh's husband Reza Khandan Heris and the daughter Mehrawe. Then the word was given to Marcella Pirrone, a well known lawyer in Bolzano for her efforts regarding women's rights. She took it as a great honour to moderate this meeting. The music for this occasion was played by Michael Lösch.

Both Vanda Carbone, representing the city of Merano, and Maria Grazia Barbiero, representing woman's affairs in the Italian Parliament, recalled that also the winners of this year's Alexander Langer Award weren't allowed to come to the ceremony and until today we have no information about their destiny. Maria Grazia Barbiero thanked HRI and the Women's Museum for the networking and for giving the first HRI-Award to a woman. In her speech she spoke about women's rights, as a natural part of the human rights and made it obvious, thorough some examples, how much there is still to do.

Through a video conference also Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel Prize Winner of 2003, was present and congratulated her colleague Nasrin Sotoudeh. Astrid Schönberger, the coordinator of the “womaninmuseum” network informed, that they are planning a Women's Museum in Iran, the first one in an Islamic Republic.

After this Adi Pfitscher and Sissi Prader handed over a sum of 5.500,00 € to Nasrin Sotoudeh's husband and daughter. Reza and Mehrawe thanked Adi and Sissi with a silver flower, for their engagement regarding human rights in Iran.

Reza Khandan Heris thanked with the hand on his heart; he also read a letter of his wife, written by her after she was stopped by the Iranian authorities at the airport of Teheran. She is optimistic and is looking forward to a future meeting in Italy or Iran. The highlight of this night was the video conference, where Nasrin explained the situation of the women in Iran: how difficult it is for brave women to fight for their rights, for human rights in general and for democracy. She stated that she is convinced that by using peaceful and legal methods the system in Iran can be changed.

Throughout the whole evening, Shirin Ebadi's personal translator, Miss Ella Mohammadi from Rome, translated the words of Nasrin (vido message), Reza and Shirin into the Italian language.

Court of Justice of the European Union - success for HRI and partners

SENEGAL - project "one bed, one mosquito net"

CHINA - HRI congratulates and demands freedom for LIU XIAOBO

ITALY/EU - Eliminate discrimination with objective criteria of choice

ITALY - Full access to scholarships for non-EU citizens

ITALY - Action against discrimination