Iran Sentences Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh to 38 Years, 148 Lashes

Iran appointed to UN Women's Rights Commission same week a women's rights lawyer sentenced to 38 years (and 148 lashes)

Tehran's Revolutionary Court has sentenced Iranian prominent lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes after two trials.

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

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. Her decision to represent women who choose to not wear a hijab shows that currents of protest are alive in the ultra-conservative country.

Khandan, her husband, was sentenced to six years in January for illicitly posting updates about his wife's case on Facebook, but he has yet to be imprisoned on that charge, Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, which is based in New York, told The New York Times last week.

Following this statement, Sotoudeh's husband wrote in a Facebook post that she had been sentenced to 38 years imprisonment and 148 lashes.

The U.S. State Department on March 12 condemned the new prison sentences imposed on Sotoudeh "in the strongest possible terms". She was arrested again last June.


In 2011, Ms. Sotoudeh was the subject of an Opinion by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention concerning her earlier arrest and conviction.

Amnesty International has released a statement terming the sentence given to Sotoudeh "an outrageous injustice".

It said there were no grounds to justify the restriction of her rights and noted a number of violations of worldwide standards relating to the right to a fair trial. "(2) The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a effect of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration".

The worldwide human right NGO said that this is the harshest sentence it has documented against a human rights defender in Iran in recent years.

It is unclear, human rights NGO Amnesty International said, if the judge was referring to a separate case.

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".

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