Urgent Interventions

Unexplained transfer of Nasrin Sotoudeh to Qarchak prison

Paris-Geneva, October 20, 2020 – Prominent human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh has been transferred today to Qarchak prison without any explanation. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) and the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) reiterate their call on the Iranian authorities to immediately release her.

While the guards of the women’s dormitory ward at Tehran’s Evin prison told her that she was going to be sent to the hospital, Nasrin Sotoudeh was transferred from Evin prison to Qarchak prison (south of Tehran), where detention conditions are known to be much worse, especially characterised by overcrowding and lack of medical care.

Ms. Sotoudeh, who suffers from serious cardiac and pulmonary problems, which arose from her hunger strike from August 11 to September 25, 2020, was transferred to Taleghani Hospital (Tehran) on September 19, 2020. After a brief 5-days stay, she was returned to prison on September 23, 2020 before completing her full treatment and without any particular medical attention. Since then, experts have been saying that she should be transferred back to the hospital for an urgent heart examination and angiography.

The Observatory and LDDHI are deeply concerned about the transfer of Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh to Qarchak prison, which represents a great risk to her already very fragile health, and call for her immediate and unconditional release.

Press contact:

  • FIDH: Ms. Eva Canan (English, French), +33 6 48 05 91 57 / Email: (Paris)
  • OMCT: Ms. Iolanda Jaquemet (English, French), +41 79 539 41 06 / Email : (Geneva)

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

The League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) was founded in Paris in March 1983, following the forced closure of the “Iranian Association for the Defence of Human Rights and Liberties” (established in 1977) in 1981, and the departure of its leaders into exile. Since its establishment, LDDHI has consistently reported and campaigned against human rights violations in Iran, concentrating on the abolition of the death penalty in Iran, women’s rights, freedom of political prisoners, rights of religious and ethnic minorities, freedoms of expression, assembly and association among others. LDDHI has been a member of FIDH since 1986.

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