TJA: Nesrin Sotudeh must be released now

Free Women’s Movement (Tevgera Jinen Azad - TJA) said human rights defender and lawyer Nesrin Sotudeh imprisoned in Iran must be released immediately.

TJA pointed out the attacks against women in Turkey and the Middle East and called for solidarity with Lawyer Nesrin Sotudeh, who was sentenced to 38 years in prison in Iran.

The statement TJA released said, “Women have been fighting against the institutions, oppression and attacks of the male mindset for centuries. For women this tradition of struggle is a way of existing and a tool for freedom. In the Middle East in particular, the usurped and ignored freedoms have been the primary reason for women to fight and resist.”

TJA pointed out that the characters of nation states show similarities in the Middle East but each of their historical background and formation is different: “The Turkish state’s character is one of a strict nation state structure. It is built on a monist idea and it is male.”

The statement continued: “In the 15 years of AKP governments, the anti-women policies gained a new depth with the State of Emergency. There were hostile attacks against the gains created by the Kurdish Women’s Movement. Dozens of Kongreya Jinen Azad (KJA) constituent women’s organizations were shut down. The people’s will was confiscated in the municipalities.

Thousands of Kurdish women politicians were detained and arrested. Thousands of women workers were terminated. Women’s centers working under local administrations were either closed or rendered dysfunctional. Women’s shelters were closed, and women in the shelters were abandoned with no security. They shut down institutions and dismissed organizations, to leave women and children defenseless and to spread the genocide among society. The system wants to leave women disorganized and defenseless to make them surrender, but women have responded to the genocidal policies against society and women with organized struggle.”

TJA said the nation states are experiencing a deep crisis and are engaged in anti-women policies everywhere and in the Middle East as well.

The statement also said: “Iran, as one of the states where the patriarchal mindset has been institutionalized, is trying to suppress women and society in general through racist and sexist policies that abuse religion.”

TJA pointed out that the women who rise up against the oppressive and unequal system with every chance they get and fight for freedom are being sentenced to the harshest punishments and added: “Lawyer and human rights defender Nesrin Sotudeh was sentenced to 148 lashes and 38 years in prison for defending women who protest the mandatory headscarf and opposition politicians.”

The statement concluded with: “As the TJA, we embrace the struggles of all women who fight against the oppression and attacks by the patriarchal mindset in the Middle East.  We support the petition for Nesrin Sotudeh and call on everyone to do so. Nesrin must be released immediately without any conditions.”