Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize 2018
“The award given by lawyers to a lawyer”
Thirty-three years after Nelson Mandela
The 23rd ""International Human Rights Prize Ludovic –Trarieux 2018 was awarded on Friday September 21 in Paris Law Courts to Iranian woman lawyer
currently detained in Evin Prison in Teheran,
who was the lawyer for women’s rights activists, , journalists , politicians and legal colleagues such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.
As a lawyer, in 2003, Nasrin Sotoudeh Langroudi, 55, became an active member of the Center for the Defense of Human Rights and the Society for the Protection of the Rights of Children. She specialized in women’s and children’s rights while continuing to write articles addressing these issues.
She was first arrested in September 2010 on an array of charges including "propaganda against the state" and "cooperating with the Center for the Defense of Human Rights." On January 9, 2011 she was sentenced to 11 years in prison and an additional 20-year ban on practicing law also bars her from traveling outside the country once her sentence is complete. On September 2011, an appeals court reduces Sotoudeh’s sentence from 11 years to 6, and her ban from working as a lawyer is reduced from 20 to 10. After three years, in September 18, 2013, she was released from Evin Prison, on the eve of President Rouhani’s first visit to the United States.
On October 18, 2014: Branch Two of the Lawyers’Disciplinary Court at the Iranian Bar Association bans Sotoudeh from her law practice for three years. On October 21, Sotoudeh begins a sit-in in every day front of the Bar Association to protest the ruling banning her from her law practice. Finally in June 2015, her license to practice law is reinstated but not for political or medias cases.
Since 2017, Nasrin Sotoudeh has worked as a defense attorney for women charged with violating Iran’s compulsory veiling law. Subsequently, Nasrin Sotoudeh was abruptly re-arrested on June 13, 2018 and taken to Evin prison where she is informed she has been sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted in absentia on unspecified charges. She started a hunger strike on 25 August in protest at the Iranian authorities’harassment of her family and friends. Her husband, Reza Khandan, was arrested on September 4th, 2018 .
She received the Sakharov Prize jointly with iraniam filmmaker Jafar Panahi, in 2012.
The Jury of 25 european lawyers, representing main European bars and major lawyers organizations fighting for human rights : Amsterdam, Berlin, Bordeaux Brussels, Geneva, Paris, Roma, Luxemburg, European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) and of Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA meeting in Paris Bar Association Mainroom, launched an appeal aux autorités to release immediately and without conditions.
Since 1984, the "International Human Rights Prize Ludovic -Trarieux” is awarded to " a lawyer, regardless of nationality or Bar, who thoroughout his career has illustrated, by his activity or his suffering, the defence of human rights, the promotion of defence rights, the supremacy of law, and the struggle against racism and intolerance in any form ".
Since 2003, the Prize is awarded every year in partnership by the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Bordeaux, the Human Rights Institute of the Bar of Paris, the Human Rights Institute of The Bar of Brussels, l'Unione forense per la tutela dei diritti dell'uomo (Roma), Rechtsanwaltskammer Berlin, the Bar of Luxemburg, the Bar of Geneva, the Bar of Amsterdam as well as the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA), and the European Bar Human Rights Institute (IDHAE) whose members are the biggest european law societies fighting for human rights. It is presented every year in a city that is home to one of the member Institutes.
It is the oldest and most prestigious award given to a lawyer in the world, commemorating the memory of the French lawyer, Ludovic Trarieux (1840-1904), who in the midst of the Dreyfus Affair, in France, in 1898, founded the " League for the Defence of Human Rights and the Citizen ", because, he said: " It was not only the single cause of a man which was to be defended, but behind this cause, law, justice, humanity ".
The first Prize was awarded on March 29th, 1985 to Nelson Mandela then in jail. It was officially presented to his daughter, Zenani Mandela Dlamini, on April 27th 1985, in front of forty presidents of Bars and Law Societies from Europe and Africa. It was the first award given to Mandela in France and the first around the world given by lawyers. On February 11th 1990, Nelson Mandela was released. Since then, it was d ecided that the Prize would be awarded again.