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Maryam Nayeb Yazdi

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Tweeting up a Storm to Fight Injustice in Iran

Posted: 10/19/2012 1:32 pm

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an award-winning lawyer held unlawfully in Evin Prison since 2010, is on her third day of hunger strike. To show their solidarity with this incredible woman, human rights and online activists have organized a "Tweet Storm" which begins Friday, October 19 at 1 p.m. EST. The special hashtag is #IamNasrin.

The online event is an urgent call to take action for her release. Anyone can join the Storm, as long as you have a Twitter account. And, if you don't, you can always create one. A link to a post with suggested tweets will be provided on the campaign's event page half an hour before the start of the Storm.

What you need to do is simple: Send a tweet every minute for 60 minutes. You can copy the suggested tweets and paste straight to your Twitter account.

The goal of the Tweet Storm is to encourage media, journalists, bloggers, reporters, lawyers, mothers, women's rights groups, human rights activists and groups, and concerned citizens to stand in solidarity with Nasrin. Social media plays a very important role in consciousness-awareness raising. We should all do our parts to be Nasrin's voice because hers has been silenced. The Regime in Iran must be held accountable for its crimes against humanity.

For the past two years Regime authorities have frequently deprived Nasrin Sotoudeh of her most basic human rights, like the right to have physical contact with her children or make phone calls to her mother. The courageous and resilient Nasrin is sentenced to six years in prison and banned from practising law for 10 years.

Her husband, Reza Khandan, posted the following on Wednesday on his Facebook to announce the hunger strike:

After months of back and forth with the Prosecutor's office, the fundamental right of a mother to have face-to-face meetings [with her beloved children] is still being denied. Despite 17 months of imprisonment in Evin's general ward, they still refuse to grant her a two-minute phone conversation. Even a visitation from behind a cabin window with her brother and mother has been denied for an entire year.

Nasrin must now hear through the grapevine that her 12-year-old daughter was summoned along with her husband to branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court to discover [the authorities] have banned her from leaving the country. As if that was not enough, now this innocent, young girl, who is no longer able to visit her mother behind bars as a result of a conflicting school schedule on Wednesdays, must face the stubbornness of a Judiciary which refuses to switch the visitation day.

For two months [the authorities] gave us false hopes that they might grant [Nasrin] furlough. The Prosecutor's office even asked us to submit a number of documents, only to suddenly change their minds at the last minute.

Nasrin, who has been left with no other recourse, has unfortunately launched a hunger strike as of this morning. I did everything in my power to dissuade her of this decision, but she was adamant. Even without a hunger strike she has lost so much weight and is so weak that she is unrecognizable to those who have not seen her in a while...and now this [the hunger strike]...

Hope to see you on Twitter for Nasrin. You should help because you can.

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