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Nasrin Sotoodeh, Human Rights Defender, Sentenced to 11 years in Prison and a 20 Year Ban from Legal Practice and Travel

Sunday 9 January 2011


The Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR): Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court with Judge PirAbassi has sentenced Nasrin Sotoudeh to 11 years in prison and banned her from practicing law and leaving the country for 20 years.

Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband told CHRR, "This sentence was delivered to my wife’s lawyer Nasim Ghanavi and now we have 20 days to request an appeal." According to Khandan, the sentence was issued even though Nasrin Sotoudeh was expecting a lighter sentence and she was in good spirits during the last visitation. Khandan added, "My wife received one year imprisonment for "propaganda against the regime", a total of ten years for the two charges "acting against national" and "violating the Islamic dress code (Hijab) in a filmed speech".

Other reports indicate that Nasim Ghanavi and Reza Khandan were summoned to the Revolutionary Court. Khandan said, "I was asked to appear in branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court. In the written summon, the word "defendant" was used when referring to me. Of course, I was also summoned about ten to twelve days before my wife’s arrest. At that time I was warned about the interviews I had given."

Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested on September 22, 2010 and has been in solitary confinement since. Her trial took place on November 15th in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court with Judge PirAbassi. She was initially charged with "acting against national security" and "propaganda against the regime." The charge of "violating the Islamic dress code in a filmed speech" was later added on. Sotoudeh has spent a large portion of her incarceration on hunger strike.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a lawyer and the winner of the Human Rights Award from the International Human Rights Organization. She is also a member of the Defenders of Human Rights, the One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws Against Women, and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child. In her capacity as a legal councillor, Sotoudeh has represented many human rights activists, women’s rights activists, child victims, victims of child abuse, and children risking execution. In 2008, Sotoudeh was awarded the Human Rights prize by the International Committee on Human Rights. She has been threatened on numerous occasions because of her human rights activism and was warned to forgo providing legal council to Shirn Ebadi.

 

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