Following the arrest of Ms Nasrin Sotoudeh, EP Vice-President Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA, FI) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT), stated:
"Yesterday Ms Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested in her home in Tehran, Iran, and was reportedly transferred to Evin prison. We strongly condemn her arrest and call on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release her.
Ms Sotoudeh is a tireless and outspoken human rights lawyer who has pursued her fully legitimate and peaceful professional activity, defending her clients with determination and courage. She had already paid a high price for her human rights work in previous years, including an unfair and unjustified prison sentence between 2010 and 2013, as well as a travel ban and limitations on her professional activity. The European Parliament awarded Ms Sotoudeh the Sakharov Prize in 2012 for her work and highly valued commitment to human rights. The Parliament stands by her and expects Iranian authorities to guarantee her full rights in line with international standards, including her physical, moral and psychological integrity and contacts with her family and lawyers.
Any new charges against Ms Sotoudeh should be clearly communicated and duly justified. Furthermore, we call on the Iranian authorities to ensure the right of all defendants to a legal counsel of their choice in all court cases without undue limitations, in line with Iran's international commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)."