Iranian Rights Lawyer Sotoudeh Faces Long Prison Term, Lashes

Nasrin Sotoudeh

Enlarge Image Nasrin Sotoudeh. Getty Images

After 8 months, it was revealed Monday that Sotoudeh had been sentenced to 38 years in prison plus 148 lashes.

Iran has faced worldwide condemnation after one of the country's most prominent human rights lawyers, detained for eight months, said she had been sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes, according to her husband.

Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, called the sentence "utterly outrageous" on Tuesday, and said on Twitter that the European Parliament stood with Sotoudeh.

Sotoudeh previously served three years in prison for her activism and was released in 2013.

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. My wife has been sentenced to 33 years in a court in absentia.

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It's not clear why the judge in the case is saying the sentence is seven years when it appears to be 38, but in either case, this is ridiculous punishment for trumped-up charges.

GCHR expresses serious concern at the continued targeting and harassment of human rights defenders in Iran and the lack of civic space. The government offered no explanation, but at the time Sotoudeh was defending women who had been arrested after removing their hijabs, or headscarves, in public protests.

During the most recent sentencing, Moghiseh "applied the maximum statutory sentence" for each of her charges, and added an additional four years to her prison term, Amnesty International said in a news release on Monday.

Javaid Rehman, the United Nations investigator on human rights in Iran raised Sotoudeh's case at the United Nations human rights council in Geneva on Monday. Prior to her arrest in June 2018 and detention in Tehran's notorious Evin prison, the 55-year-old human rights lawyer had taken on the cases of multiple women who to protest Iran's mandatory dress code refused to wear a hijab in public. So, following hot on the heels of International Women's Day, it thought it appropriate to appoint the Islamic Republic of Iran to its five member Working Group on Communications.

The global human right NGO said that this is the harshest sentence it has documented against a human rights defender in Iran in recent years. This verdict shows that making statements in our country comes with such a high price. "This sentence is unjust, illogical and unusual", he has said.

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