Narsin Sotoudeh Faces 38 Years in Prison and 148 Lashes for Women’s Rights Defender

Kianna Montano, Beat Investagator-ELL/Foreign

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An internationally renowned Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender Narsin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for fighting for what she believes is right for the women in her country.

The sentence of Narsin Sotoudeh was reported on her husband’s (Reza Khandan) Facebook page on March 11, 2019. Her crime? She defended women being prosecuted for peacefully protesting Iran’s compulsory hijab law by removing the head covering in public. The regime is clearly set on making an example of her.

“It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing nearly four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defense of women protesting against Iran’s degrading forced hijab (veiling) laws. Nasrin Sotoudeh must be released immediately and unconditionally and this obscene sentence quashed without delay,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.

Nasrin has dedicated her life to women’s rights and now she’s being sentenced with 38 years in prison for sticking up for what she believes in. In the Middle East women don’t usually have rights to anything, and she was trying to fight for those women.

This is the harshest sentenced case that Amnesty International has ever documented against any human rights defender in Iran.

“Jailing a human rights defender for her peaceful activities is abhorrent but the fact that the judge in Nasrin Sotoudeh’s case used his discretion to ensure that she stays locked up for more than is required under Iranian law compounds the outrageous injustice of her sentence,” said Philip Luther.

Journalists reported that Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to seven years in prison, five years for “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security” and two years for “insulting the Supreme Leader”.  Her two children have not been allowed to visit her. She previously served in prison for her work from 2010 to 2013. Ms. Sotoudeh was awarded in 2012 the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and, last year, the Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Prize. There are no further details from the judge or the reporter.

 

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