Nasrin Sotoudeh , lawyer, human rights and women's rights activist has addressed a letter to the head of Iran's judiciary. Inspired by Paulo Coelho, Sotoudeh provides a beautiful narrative of the events that occurred after the presidential elections of June 2009. According to reports by the Feminist School, though Nasrin Sotoudeh's letter to the judiciary was written after her sentence was handed down by the Revolutionary Court, it is being published for the first time today. Sotoudeh has been incarcerated since September 4th 2010, was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, banned from practicing the law and leaving the country for 20 years and fined $50.00 dollars for her failure to observe the Islamic dress code in a video taping of an acceptance speech. Sotoudeh wrote this letter in March after being informed of this unjust sentence.
The complete content of Nasrin Sotoudeh's letter to the head of the Judiciary in Iran is as follows:
To the head of the Judiciary,
I am grateful to you for showing us what dangerous creatures the post election demonstrators are, for we had forgotten what unforgivable betrayals they had committed against the nation of Iran!
I am grateful to you for making sure that your security agents engaged in the widespread arrest of such dangerous creatures only hours after the presidential elections, preventing such protests from taking place.
At the time of their arrests, they were told by the security agents that their arrests were a "preventative" measure.
I thank you for showing us the SMS messages and emails, for it was only through the heavy sentences rendered by your courts that we realized what dangerous creatures these citizens really are!
The world watched in utter wonder and bewilderment the peaceful manner in which the post election protesters demonstrated on the streets of Iran. They witnessed how those who had been denied the right to express their objections, were arrested, rendered heavy sentences and incarcerated. The world witnessed how they silently bore their prison sentences with patience - and we admire them for their patience and perseverance.
I thank you for demonstrating to the world the massive gap between the decisions taken by the ruling government and the aspirations of an entire nation.
I am particularly grateful for the sentence that was handed down to me. I am very thankful that when rendering his sentence, your Judge demonstrated no consideration whatsoever for my two young children.
Your Judge confirmed that Iranian women cannot be ignored under any pretext. I am not willing to exchange the ruling you rendered against me for anything in this world, for it was this verdict that allowed me to experience the endless grace and love of my compatriots and so many freedom seeking citizens from across the globe.
I am grateful that you rendered a verdict against me that was longer than that handed down to my clients, for being released from prison before my clients would have been extremely difficult to bear.
I am grateful that I was escorted by two armed men and one woman in a private vehicle when transferred from my solitary confinement cell to court in order to attend my trial, so that I would feel a sense of importance.
In particular, I am infinitely grateful for your fair court proceedings.
Mr. Head of the Judiciary!
Though I am extremely grateful that your Judge did not take my defense and that of my brave clients seriously, it nevertheless goes without saying, that we take your verdicts and in particular the rulings rendered by the Revolutionary Courts very seriously.
Nasrin Sotoudeh / March 2011 / Ward 209 Evin Prison
Footnote: The original style used for this text belongs to the dear Paulo Coelho, whose work I was studying briefly during my incarceration.
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