Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, poses for a photograph in her office in Tehran, Iran on Nov. 1, 2008. The Canadian legal team for an imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer is calling for federal sanctions and United Nations intervention as she wages a life-threatening hunger strike entering its 29th day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Arash Ashourinia

Canadian lawyers demand freedom for ailing, hunger-striking ‘Mandela of Iran’

Nasrin Sotoudeh has been dubbed the ‘Mandela of Iran’ because of her outspoken advocacy for female inmates

The Canadian legal team for an imprisoned Iranian human-rights lawyer is calling for federal sanctions and United Nations intervention as she wages a life-threatening hunger strike entering its 29th day.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was hospitalized briefly on Monday in Tehran but has since been returned to the women’s ward of the notorious Evin Prison, where she has been held since June 2018, says Yonah Diamond, one of her Montreal-based lawyers.

Sotoudeh, 57, has lost at least 15 pounds and is suffering from unstable blood pressure, memory loss, migraines, vomiting and dehydration, and Diamond says that while she is determined to carry on her fight, her life is very much at risk.

Sotoudeh’s legal team is being led by former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler, the founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights in Montreal.

Cotler calls Sotoudeh the “Mandela of Iran” because of her outspoken advocacy for female inmates, young people and journalists and her opposition to the death penalty.

She was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes in March 2019, a sentence she continues to serve despite Iran’s release of scores of prisoners due to overcrowded prisons that are now breeding grounds for COVID-19.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in Mission RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving RCMP holding cell, police say; family has doubts

Two employees test positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution

Not outbreak, infected staff had no direct contact with inmates, Correctional Service Canada says

Fraser Valley foursome to hike 70km over mountains in memory of friend

Friends from Abbotsford and Langley to hike from Hope to Tulameen for Brook Morrison

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Fritou chicken restaurant coming soon to Abbotsford

Quebec-based company opening up on George Ferguson Way in the near future

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Report raises questions about COVID outbreak that killed 25 seniors at Langley Lodge

CEO defends leaked document that’s igniting queries about BC’s most deadly COVID outbreak

PHOTO: RCMP escort beaver across busy Chilliwack road

Motorists had to exercise patience as the slow-moving creature crossed several lanes of traffic

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

Man arrested in New Westminster pier park fire

Investigators don’t believe the public are at further risk and are not looking for any other suspects

UFV wrestler Jason Bains receives four-year suspension for using banned substance

Surrey native tests positive for oral steroid Turinabol, silver national medal removed for violation

Most Read