Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer in Iran who has been given a prison sentence of eleven years and banned from working as a lawyer or leaving the country for twenty years. This sentence has been given to her, not for any criminal activity but as a result of her peaceful human rights work. She was accused of 'spreading propaganda' and 'conspiring to harm state security'. Nasrin has represented many defenders opposed to the current regime in Iran. She has also worked extensively with young prisoners who have been sentenced to death for crimes they committed when they were under 18.


There are many problems for a society in which children are treated as adults.  Amongst all the various issues we struggle for – women’s rights, freedom of expression, freedom of association – this execution of children keeps me awake in the dead of night.
As a mother I cannot but think of my own children when I defend other children.
The biggest question in my mind is, will the new generation of children in a country where the law punishes them as adults, ever stand in solidarity for other children’s rights in the future?

Mehraveh and Nima, my beloved children,

Next to all my social and professional identities, I am proud of being a mother, especially to you two. Being a mother is always on my mind. As I strive for an Iran where justice prevails, I declare loud and clear: “I am a mother”
I know that you require water, food, housing, a family, parents, love, and visits with your mother. However, just as much, you need freedom, social security, the rule of law, and justice. Please be aware that these concepts have not been easily achieved anywhere in the world. Nowhere in the world was the “law” upheld when written on torn sheets of paper. Our insistence on the rule of law is what brings the law into being. Thus, you should know that “you” and “I” are forming and building the law together.
I kiss you thousands of times. I suffer from not having held you in months, and I hope that the suffering is not in vain.
I love you both,