EXCLUSIVE: Libé Interviews Human Rights Lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh

2 min readApr 12, 2023

“Iranian society can no longer stay silent. A page has been turned”, says human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. She is a Persian lawyer, jurist, and human rights defender. She is also the recipient of the Sakharov Prize and the Robert-Badinter Prize, the Grand Prize of the public, awarded in Berlin, at the conclusion of the 8th World Congress against the Death Penalty in November 2022.

In 2018, Nasrin defended several young Iranian women who removed their hijab in public to protest against the compulsory wearing of the veil. For exercising her profession, she was sentenced to 128 lashes and 38 years in prison despite her deteriorating health.

Nasrin Sotoudeh enjoying a few days of freedom on the occasion of the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, on March 20, 2023 (Author Provided)

Libé: You spent many years in prison. Where do you still find the strength to fight?

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Esq.: For me and Iranians of my generation, we are asking why our movement against oppression has not succeeded? Why does the regime always manages to oppress women?

Our rulers are brutally attacking the female body. They whip the bodies of women in broad daylight. They drag the bodies of our daughters to the ground before the eyes of the world. We are just picking up the pieces by invoking these words: “Woman, life, freedom”. I was only able to endure prison by taming my suffering.

Libé: Iranians have just celebrated their new year, what is your wish for the new year?

Nasrin Sotoudeh, Esq.: For the new year, I wish to finally see, after decades of mobilization, the realization of the dreams of freedom and dignity in Iran.

This requires, above all, respect of women’s rights and human rights. I believe that only justice ultimately leads to progress.

Translation Credit: Dr. Nader Vahabi




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