Iranian dissidents awarded Sakharov Prize

Sanaz Saifolahi — 

Imprisoned lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and banned film maker Jafar Panahi have been awarded the Sakharav Prize.

The Sakharav Prize, named after the Soviet scientist and dissident, is an annual prize, awarded by the European Parliament to individuals or organisations fighting for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is currently serving a six year prison sentence in the notorious Evin prison for “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the regime”. Sotoudeh has represented imprisoned opposition activists. Banned film maker Jafar Panahi, well known for his documentary “This is not a film” has been under house arrest since 2010. Panahi’s film was smuggled out of Iran hidden in a cake.

The most recent report from the UN Rapporteur on Iran, Dr Ahmed Shaheed, makes for depressing reading. The report can be found here.

Iran has commented on the report: the response can be found here.

There are many of us working within the asylum, immigration and human rights field. It is worthwhile remembering how privileged we are to be able to carry out our work. Freely.

Sanaz Saifolahi

Sanaz Saifolahi

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