Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has staged a sit-in outside the Iranian Bar Association for more than six months, demanding the right to work freely after she was banned from practicing for five years last October.
A member of the Iranian Human Rights group and winner of the 2008 Human Rights International (HRI) award and the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Sotoudeh has defended prominent opposition activists, journalists and death row inmates.
She has been arrested on numerous occasions because of her work, spent three years in prison on false charges of endangering national security and staged several hunger strikes.
With the help of a translator, Sotoudeh spoke with Equal Times by telephone from Iran.
What’s the impact of your protest so far?
In the first days of my sit-in, police forces arrested us, my friends and I who held the sit-in. But step-by-step, after a while, they stopped interfering. And now we are more undisturbed than before.
How much hardship do you see among lawyers like you?
One lawyer in front of the prison was recently arrested only because he was doing his job.
When will you stop your sit-in?
If they change the verdict and if they extend my license, I will stop my sit-in.
But if they don’t, I will continue my sit-in for three years.
I already spent the first seven months of my sit-in. So I will continue for two years and five months more.
(Equal times- May 19, 2015)