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IRAN Iranian lawyers protest conviction of human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh

17 March 2019

The Commission's Working Group considers communications received by the United Nations of alleged human rights violations affecting the status of women, and uses these to identify "trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality". Her decision to represent women who choose to not wear a hijab shows that currents of protest are alive in the ultra-conservative country.

In a judgement which seems harder than any earlier crackdown on dissent that the Iranian govt is known of, Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to three decades in prison and 148 lashes, according to her family.

The Tehran Court judge, however, said the punishment is of 7 years - five years for assembling against national security and two years for insulting the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Her husband Reza Khandan wrote in a post on Facebook on Monday.

According to India Times, She was charged with multiple national security-related offences.

"I don't know how many years she got for each of the charges because my conversation with Nasrin only lasted a few minutes and we didn't get to the details", the center quoted Khandan as saying.

Halvorsen said Norway's foreign ministry would follow up the concrete case against Sotoudeh, in close cooperation with the European Union and other countries.

"Only the longest sentence will be served", the lawyer's husband told AFP.

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Amnesty launched an online petition under the title "Free Nasrin Sotoudeh now", calling on the global community to pressure Iran into releasing Sotoudeh after "after two grossly unfair trials".

She has reportedly been detained since June 2018 after her arrest for a 2016 in absentia conviction and five year prison sentence for espionage.

Ms. Sotoudeh's situation is also emblematic of an increase in the harassment, arrest and detention of human rights lawyers in Iran in recent months.

"Worrying patterns of intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers, and labour rights activists signal an increasingly severe state response", Rehman said.

"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".

The condemnation of the lawyer and activist has raised an indignant response from most of the worldwide community, including human rights NGOs and various Western chancelleries.

The global human right NGO said that this is the harshest sentence it has documented against a human rights defender in Iran in recent years.

IRAN Iranian lawyers protest conviction of human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh