ANF and NPWJ make an appeal to all Italian lawyers asking that full attention be given to the case of their Iranian colleague, Nasrin Sotoudeh Pansini (Associazione Nazionale Forense – ANF) and Schiavoni (No Peace Without Justice – NPWJ): Italian lawyers should pin a red string on their gowns until Nasrin returns to freedom

‘We encourage all the lawyers of our Country, in all our courts and offices, to sign the appeal to the Italian and European institutions requesting them to use all possible political and diplomatic efforts towards the Iranian Government to free our colleague Nasrin immediately. We are certain of a powerful response from the Italian lawyers.’ ‘The lawyer’s gown is distinctive mark of our profession that represents a symbol of protection of the rights of citizens worldwide. We therefore ask all our colleagues to pin a red string on their gown until Tehran lifts the custodial measures against Nasrin Sotoudeh and her colleague Amir Salar Davoodi’. This is today’s statement from the Secretary General of the ANF, Luigi Pansini and Giulia Schiavoni from NPWJ, about the situation of Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Ms Sotoudeh is the Iranian lawyer who became famous for defending women who took off their hijab (headscarves) to protest against the obligation to wear it. For this work, she was sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 whiplashes. ‘We join the mobilisation in order to exert maximum pressure on the Iranian authorities, in the belief that defending Ms Sotoudeh also means defending all political detainees everywhere,’ they continued. ‘Ms Sotoudeh’s case is emblematic of the suppression throughout the world of the crucial role of lawyers, who are an indisputable instrument for the protection of fundamental rights.

Her case also represents a blatant infringement of the principles underpinning the United Nations, which require public authorities to ensure that lawyers are free to carry out all their professional duties unhindered and without intimidation, molestation or undue interference’ – Mr Pansini and Ms Schiavoni concluded.