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Statement of 28 September 2020 on the situation of Nasrin Sotoudeh

The continuous detention and deteriorating health of the human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh is causing great concern for the chair of the EU's Parliament's Iran delegation.

Sotoudeh, a winner of the 2012 Sakharov Prize, is currently serving 38 years in jail for defending political prisoners back in 2018. But amidst the ongoing pandemic and the dangerous conditions faced by fellow political prisoners in Iranian jails, Soutoudeh began her hunger strike in Tehran's Evin prison back in August in protest at the risks exposed to her colleagues.

However, Soutoudeh was taken to hospital two weeks ago due to health problems. Yet, she was returned to Evin prison just days later, before finally ending her hunger strike last Friday.

Cornelia Ernst, chair of the EU Parliament's Iran delegation, has expressed her utmost concern at Sotoudeh's condition, and has called on the Iranian authorities to immediately accept Soutoudeh's request to recuperate at home ahead of a heart procedure, and that she should be allowed to freely choose her own medical treatment:

"I strongly support Nasrin Sotoudeh's call for the Iranian authorities to grant temporary release to human rights defenders, lawyers, dual and foreign nationals, prisoners of conscience, political prisoners, and all other individuals who had been detained without sufficient legal basis during the Covid-19 pandemic."

"Sotoudeh, a Sakharov Prize laureate in 2012, is one of many Iranian human rights lawyers who are currently imprisoned for defending fundamental freedoms. Her conviction and sentence, as well as those of all other human rights defenders detained in Iran, should immediately be revisited and her case reviewed in line with international fair trial requirements," she concluded.

Statement of 15 September 2020 on the execution of the Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari

Regarding the execution of the Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari, Cornelia Ernst, chairwoman of the European Parliament's parliamentary delegation for relations with Iran, stated:

"I condemn the recent execution of the young athlete Navid Afkari. His murder is part of a series of death sentences imposed in connection with protests in 2018 and 2019. Given the alarming frequency of the death penalty against demonstrators, I am very concerned about future reactions by the Iranian authorities to protests or any expressions of dissenting views. As the Iranian delegation, we will therefore organize a hearing on the human rights situation in Iran and also discuss the case of Navid Afkari. "

"I call on the Iranian government to end the persecution of peaceful demonstrators and to guarantee the democratic rights and freedoms of the Iranian people. The European Parliament is invariably against the death penalty, in all circumstances and in all cases. It is a cruel and inhuman punishment that represents an unacceptable rejection of human dignity and integrity. "

Statement of 13 July 2020 on the the human rights situation in Iran

The Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation to Iran, Cornelia Ernst (DIE LINKE, Germany), is urging dialogue and greater cooperation with the Islamic Republic during these difficult times,in particular on trade and on human rights:

"I am very concerned by the human rights situation in Iran. I urge the German EU Presidency to work towards lifting US-imposed economic sanctions so that prompt, flexible authorisation for essential medical equipment and supplies can reach Iran, including from the EU." [...]