Iran Sentences Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh to 38 Years, 148 Lashes

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

Security agents arrested the lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, at her home in June previous year.

Iran should immediately free prominent human rights lawyer and defender Nasrin Sotoudeh from jail pending a review of her conviction and sentence, say United Nations human rights experts*.

Reports suggested that her detention is related to her legal representation of women arrested in Iran for peacefully protesting against the Islamic Republic's compulsory hijab law, and for criticising the judiciary. "5 years in prison in relation to the first case and 33 years in prison and 148 lashes in relation to the second case".

The Islamic Republic of Iran, one of the worst human rights abusers in the world and top state sponsor of worldwide terrorism, has been appointed a seat on the United Nations' Women's Rights Committee, Hillel Neuer of the watchdog group UN Watch reported Wednesday.

The experts stated that any prison term for defending human rights was a serious violation of Iran's worldwide obligations.

Several Members of Parliament in Norway are also alarmed and strongly oppose her imprisonment and especially any lashes.

USA govt has condemned the arrest and said, "We are outraged to hear reports that the Iranian regime sentenced Sotoudeh to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes".

"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. Norwegian state secretary Audun Halvorsen told Aftenposten that even a minimum sentence of seven years gives "great cause for concern".

"Only the longest sentence will be served", the lawyer's husband told AFP.

The European Parliament has urged Iran to stop criminalizing the work of women's rights activists and reiterated its call on the country's authorities to "immediately and unconditionally" release prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. "This sentence is unjust, illogical and unusual", he has said.

In 2010, Sotoudeh was imprisoned for three years for defending dissidents who staged mass protests after the contentious re-election of the conservative President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

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

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".

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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