Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh faces 34 years in prison

Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh faces up to 34 years in prison and 148 lashes after being convicted in two trials which Amnesty International has called “grossly unfair”.

In an urgent letter published on March 4, 2019, to the head of Iran’s Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, Amnesty International called for the immediate release of the 55-year-old human rights lawyer.

Amnesty International stated, “The charges against Sotoudeh stem solely from her peaceful human rights work, including her defense of women protesting Iran’s forced hijab (veiling) laws, and her outspoken opposition to the death penalty.”

“I urge you to release Nasrin Sotoudeh immediately and unconditionally as she is a prisoner of conscience, jailed solely for her peaceful human rights work. Pending her release, please ensure that she has regular contact with her family and a lawyer of her choosing. I urge you to stop criminalizing the work of women’s rights defenders, including those who peacefully protest against forced hijab, and abolish forced hijab laws,” Amnesty International said.

Her husband, Reza Khandan, said that Nasrin Sotoudeh was convicted on the basis of several charges but had not received the verdict or her sentence in writing. According to Mr. Khandan, Evin Prison authorities have decided to increase their pressure on female inmates to prevent leaks concerning the conditions in the prison.

Prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who previously served three years in prison, was convicted in absentia by a Revolutionary Court in Tehran. She has been in prison since June 2018 after she was detained for representing women who had been arrested during protests in Iran.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was tried in absentia in December 2018, at Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran, presided by judge Mohammad Moghiseh. She refused to appear in court because she was denied the right to choose her own lawyer and opposed the unjust nature of the judicial proceedings.