A Compelling Case for Women Worldwide

 

A compelling case was made for Mme Nasrin Sotoudeh by Professor Irwin Cotler, chair and founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, who described her illegal and inhumane imprisonment and ill-treatment in Iran.  His presentation was instrumental in the adoption of this initiative by the International Council of Jewish Women.

 

We urge members of the International Council of Jewish Women, in every affiliate country, to write to the UN Secretary General and to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, protesting the treatment of Ms. Sotoudeh and urging her immediate release.

 

Excerpt From Irwin Cotler's address at the Meeting of the International Council of Jewish Women May 2019. 

Sample Letter Below

Please write to both;

1.  The High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet (see both email and postal address below) :

civilsociety@ohchr.org

 

Postal address:

 

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) 
Palais des Nations 
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

 

 

2. M. Antonio Guterres,  UN Secretary General

Antonio.guterres@un.org

 

Postal address:

UN Headquarters in New York:

405 East 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10017, USA

 

Sample Letter

 

We are part of a worldwide organization of Jewish women who wish to speak on behalf of a leading proponent of human rights, Mme. Nasrin Sotoudeh.

We wish to protest her inhumane and undemocratic imprisonment in Iran.  Her defense of women in Iran is something we support; we call to your attention the appalling conditions under which she was tried and imprisoned.

Please work for her safe release to her family.  Her cause is a just one and we support it unequivocally.

The attached document explains in more detail what this accomplished lawyer has suffered, and continues to suffer, at the hands of the regime in Iran.  Please use your office to work for her freedom. 

 

Signed: 

                                                               

__________

 

Excerpt From Irwin Cotler's address at the Meeting of the International Council of Jewish Women May 2019.  

 

The Parliament of Canada, on April 29, 2019, called on the Government of Iran to release Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer who has been detained in Iran’s Evin Prison since June 2018.  The International Council of Jewish Women joins in solidarity with the Canadian Parliament, and with the European Parliament which protested her inhumane situation in December 2018. 

 

In March 2019, Ms. Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.  We wish to support Ms. Sotoudeh by joining these eminent bodies protesting her treatment;  we appeal to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet,  to act on this matter.

 

Ms. Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer who has dedicated her life to safeguarding the rights of Iranians. Advocating for activists and political prisoners, especially those who have stood up for the rights of women and girls in Iran, she has been imprisoned four times since 2010.

 

Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are integral to ensuring the rule of law and the functions of democracy; they are fundamental principles clearly defined in international law and they are the inherent right of all people.  These two democratic themes were betrayed in 2018 when, as part of peaceful protests, some women removed their hijabs and waved them like flags and then were prosecuted for this behaviour. For defending these women, Ms. Sotoudeh unjustly languishes in Evin prison, the facility notorious for abuse of prisoners in defiance of international human rights protocols.

 

Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits arbitrary arrest, and Article 10 demands that all detainees be treated with humanity and respect.  The Parliamentarians of Canada have called on Iran to ratify the Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

 

Again, in solidarity with these efforts, we urge members of the International Council of Jewish Women, in every affiliate country, to write to the UN Secretary-General and to the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, protesting the treatment of Ms. Sotoudeh and urging her immediate release.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UN Human Rights Council 43rd Session February 2020

 

As a participant of all four  UN World Conferences for Women, in Mexico City 1975, Copenhagen 1980, Nairobi 1985 and Beijing 1995, I have been privileged to follow the progress in solving the plight of women. Each Conference gave us incentives for further action. Women have been more accepted as integral to the sustainable development goals.

 

The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action adopted in 1995 set strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in  several critical areas of concern. If only meagre progress,  at least awareness has been achieved concerning many of the objectives (now SDGs). Gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality have become priority issues as well as the violation of women’s human rights under the name of cultural tradition. Without Gender Equality (Number 5 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals) none of the SDGs will be achieved.

 

One of the areas, which has regressed, are the media with the enhanced power to present, create and manipulate through the new technology. The no limits-principle has also meant erasing  the rules of good conduct in the media.