Iranian human rights lawyer sentenced to 38 years in prison, 148 lashes

17 Mars, 2019, 01:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Nasrin Sotoudeh

On 13 June 2018, Nasrin Sotoudeh was taken from her home in Tehran.

A group of Iranian lawyers has joined the criticism of the global community for the sentence of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes imposed in recent days on Nasrin Sotoudeh, leader of the fight against the mandatory veil. The government did not offer any explanation for the arrest, but at the time she was defending women who were arrested for removing their headscarves during public protests, reported The New York Times. Husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, Reza Khandan, posted on Facebook about the punishment "38 years of prison with 148 lashes are the result of 2 open cases". The Working Group found that her detention on that occasion was due to the exercise of the rights to freedom of thought, opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association, and her work as a human rights defender.

According to Amnesty International, Iran has tightened its grip on outspoken human rights activists, including political dissidents, journalists, online media workers, students, filmmakers, musicians and writers, and minority rights and environmental activists.

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. She was also sentenced to 148 lashes, he said.

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

"This verdict shows that making statements in our country comes with such a high price that an attorney can be sentenced to 44 years for it", he told the center.

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Halvorsen said Norway's foreign ministry would follow up the concrete case against Sotoudeh, in close cooperation with the European Union and other countries. "This sentence is unjust, illogical and unusual", he has said.

She has reportedly been sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes after what Amnesty International called two "grossly unfair" trials. She has defended opposition activists and politicians who were arrested for protesting against the fraud in 2009 Iranian presidential election.

Amnesty launched an online petition under the title "Free Nasrin Sotoudeh now", calling on the worldwide community to pressure Iran into releasing Sotoudeh after "after two grossly unfair trials".

"Worrying patterns of intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers, and labour rights activists signal an increasingly severe state response", Rehman said.

The condemnation of the lawyer and activist has raised an indignant response from most of the worldwide community, including human rights NGOs and various Western chancelleries.

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