Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Sentenced To Seven Years' Prison

Iran appointed to UN Women's Rights Commission same week a women's rights lawyer sentenced to 38 years (and 148 lashes)

Trettebergstuen, who serves as Labour's spokesperson on equality issues, thinks Sotoudeh's efforts are having an effect "because it's clearly scaring the Iranian regime so much that they want to whip her into silence".

Sotoudeh, held at Evin Prison in Tehran, told her husband about the latest sentencing during a brief telephone conversation, the Center for Human Rights in Iran, a monitoring group, said in a statement on Monday.

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*.

According to Iran's state-owned news service, IRNA, the rights lawyer was found guilty of "gathering Intel and colluding to commit crimes against national security" and for "insulting the Supreme Leader".

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

There have been conflicting reports and statements about the length of the sentences imposed on Sotoudeh, with a judge at Tehran's Revolutionary Court saying earlier this month that she had been sentenced to seven years in prison on two charges.

She has denied all charges against her.

For many years, Sotoudeh has represented prominent opposition activists, and was previously imprisoned from 2010 to 2013, after being convicted on security-related charges for her human rights work. My wife has been sentenced to 33 years in a court in absentia.

She has reportedly been sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes after what Amnesty International called two "grossly unfair" trials.

Iran, often accused of human rights abuse, said on Monday it had allowed UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kate Gilmore to visit last week at the head of a "technical mission".

"It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing almost four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defence of women protesting against Iran's degrading forced hijab (veil) laws".

"Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to defending women's rights and speaking out against the death penalty - it is utterly outrageous that Iran's authorities are punishing her for her human rights work".

"In view of the apparent lack of a fair trial and concerns about the arbitrary nature of the charges, we urge the Iranian authorities to immediately review Ms. Sotoudeh's conviction, release her pending the outcome of the review, and ensure that her human and legal rights are fully guaranteed", the experts said.

Human Rights Watch said the sentence was "draconian", describing it as "an appalling travesty of justice". "This sentence is unjust, illogical and unusual", he has said.

"Human rights should be defended, not prosecuted", he added.



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