Nasrin Sotoudeh: Iran human rights lawyer jailed for 38 years, say family

Nasrin Sotoudeh
Ms Sotoudeh is one of at least seven human rights lawyers arrested in Iran last year

A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to a total of 38 years in jail and 148 lashes in Tehran, her family say.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was charged with several national security-related offences, all of which she denies.

Rights groups strongly criticised the “shocking” sentence against the award-winning human rights activist.

Ms Sotoudeh is known for representing women who have protested having to wear the headscarf.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to defending women’s rights and speaking out against the death penalty,” Philip Luther from Amnesty International said.

“It is utterly outrageous that Iran’s authorities are punishing her for her human rights work.”

Ms Sotoudeh’s husband confirmed her sentence on Facebook, after a brief phone conversation with her from prison, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Her lawyer said she was charged with spreading information against the state, insulting Iran’s supreme leader and spying.

Who is Nasrin Sotoudeh?

She is among at least seven human rights lawyers who were arrested in Iran last year.

Prior to her arrest in June, she represented a number of women arrested for appearing in public without a headscarf, or hijab – a punishable offence.

She reportedly faced nine charges in two trials – one was held without her being present. She has been given the long prison term and the sentence of lashes as a result.

Ms Sotoudeh is also a former political prisoner – she was jailed between 2010 and 2013 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.

She denied those charges and while in prison the European Parliament gave her the Sakharov prize for Freedom of Thought for her work representing opposition activists.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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