Human Rights Lawyer sentenced to 38 years in prison

Postado Março 17, 2019

The Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh with her husband, Reza Khandan, and their children in Tehran in 2013, after a previous release from prison.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer known for defending women's rights, has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term and 148 lashes, according to her husband.

Sotoudeh, an internationally acclaimed lawyer, has represented activists who were prosecuted for their protest against mandatory scarf.

GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. Human rights organisation Amnesty International has called the punishment "outrageous injustice".

Nasrin Sotoudeh has been charged with several national security-related offenses, all of which she denies.

There have been conflicting reports and statements about the length of the sentences imposed on Sotoudeh, with a judge at Tehran's Revolutionary Court saying earlier this month that she had been sentenced to seven years in prison on two charges.

"I don't know how many years she got for each of the charges because my conversation with Nasrin only lasted a few minutes and we didn't get to the details", the center quoted Khandan as saying. If not, it has not been determined why what he said differs from what Sotoudeh was told. Norwegian state secretary Audun Halvorsen told Aftenposten that even a minimum sentence of seven years gives "great cause for concern".

He told Aljazeera: "It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing almost four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defence of women protesting against Iran's degrading forced hijab [headscarf] laws. This sentence is unjust, illogical and unusual", he has said. She has defended opposition activists and politicians who were arrested for protesting against the fraud in 2009 Iranian presidential election. The organization has also issued a statement calling for her immediate and unconditional release.

He added: "Worrying patterns of intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers and labor rights activists signal an increasingly severe state response".

Sotoudeh was not the only member of her family to be sentenced to prison this year.

She has reportedly been detained since June 2018 after her arrest for a 2016 in absentia conviction and five year prison sentence for espionage.