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Thursday, November 20, 2014

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Cotler hails release of Iranian rights champion

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Irwin Cotler

MONTREAL — Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler, co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Human Rights in Iran, hailed the release from prison on Sept. 18 of Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.

“This is a great day in the struggle for freedom, democracy, and human rights in Iran,” said Cotler, who represented Sotoudeh as part of the Iranian Political Prisoners Global Advocacy Project.

He has described her as an “inspirational figure in the struggle for human rights in Iran,” who emerged as the “iconic lawyer defending the hundreds of Iranian citizens arrested, detained, tortured, imprisoned and executed for nothing other than exercising their rights to freedom of expression and human dignity until she too became a victim of Iran’s massive domestic repression.”

Cotler warned that the international community must continue to stand in solidarity with the remaining political prisoners in Iran.

“Ms. Sotoudeh’s imprisonment on vague and trumped-up charges – and the ongoing imprisonment of more 3,600 political prisoners in Iran – is reflective of the criminalization of innocence by the Iranian regime,” he said.

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