For Immediate Release
Contact: Emily Porter
Phone: (202) 828-8370
Washington, DC – Today, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving the interests of the Iranian American community, reacted to news that Iranian human rights attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh is in serious medical condition following a month-long hunger strike in protest of conditions in Iranian prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sotoudeh is currently serving a thirty-eight-year sentence for her legal work peacefully and lawfully defending the rights of Iranian citizens.
In response to the news of Sotoudeh’s ailing condition and the conditions within Iranian prisons, Leila Austin, executive director of PAAIA, issued the following statement on behalf of the Iranian American community.
“PAAIA calls for the immediate release of Nasrin Sotoudeh and all Iranian Americans currently being held without due process and in unsafe conditions in Iranian prisons. We are deeply concerned that Sotoudeh and Iranian Americans remain detained despite the furlough of thousands of Iranian prisoners due to COVID-19. The crowded and hazardous conditions in Iranian prisons give rise to serious health concerns putting those detainees at greater risk of disease and deadly viruses including COVID-19. PAAIA urges Iranian authorities to immediately release Sotoudeh, Iranian American, and other prisoners of conscience.”
September 12, 2020