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December 2, 2019 4:14 pm

Top European Lawyers Honor Iranian Human Rights Advocates With Prestigious Award

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.

Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.

The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.

The four include Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights defender who has been in prison since summer of 2018 for her peaceful activities defending women’s rights to choose their dress style; Abdolfattah Soltani, cofounder of the Defenders Of Human Rights Center in Iran; Mohammad Najafi, incarcerated after serving as a defense lawyer for protesters arrested during demonstrations in 2018; and Amirsalar Davoudi, sentenced to 30 years in prison, as well as 111 lashes and a large fine, for his human rights work.

Addressing the Iranian honorees directly, a statement from the CCBE declared that “your courage, determination and commitment to defending human rights in Iran — where all forms of opposition, be it ideological or political, are not tolerated — deserve the recognition of the European legal profession.”

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The goal of the CCBE Human Rights Award is to “honor distinguished lawyers/lawyers’ organizations that have demonstrated outstanding commitment and sacrifice to uphold human rights.”

Human rights lawyer Dr. Shirin Ebadi will receive the award on behalf of the jailed Iranian lawyers from CCBE President José De Freitas at a ceremony later this month.

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