Iran Human Rights (IHR); March 19, 2019: Reza Khandan, husband of the imprisoned lawyer and human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, published the details of her recent court verdict. In sum, Nasrin is sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment and 148 lashes in the case for seven charges. Based on Article 134 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the charge with the highest penalty will be taken into account; this means that Nasrin Sotoudeh should serve 12 years in this case. She was sentenced to five years of imprisonment for another case in August 2018.
According to the handwritten copy of the verdict in which Nasrin Sotoudeh gave to her husband, she is sentenced to 7 years and 6 months of imprisonment for “gathering and conspiracy in order to commit a crime against the country’s security”, one year and 6 months for “propaganda against the system”, 7 years and 6 months for “being member of the anti-death penalty group LEGAM (Step by Step Toward Abolition of the Death Penalty), 12 years for “encouraging corruption and debauchery” because of her support for those women who protest against the compulsory hijab, 74 lashes for appearing without hijab in public, 3 years imprisonment and 74 lashes for “spreading false information to disturb public opinion,” and 2 years for disturbing public order.
The verdict which was issued by branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, states that Nasrin Sotoudeh signed a call for a referendum to choose the type of political system in Iran. This is despite the fact that the Iranian Constitution allows referendums in “very important economic, political, social and cultural matters.”
Moreover, the court considered interviewing with foreign media as a crime. Another of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s «crimes» according to the court verdict was delivering a speech in front of the UN building in Tehran in favour of the abolition of the death penalty.
It is mentioned in the verdict that Nasrin Sotoudeh has 20-days to appeal the verdict. However, Nasrin’s husband told Persian media that she is not going to appeal because she does not recognize the court as a legitimate one. Nasrin did not go to the primary court for the same reason and the verdict was issued in absentia.
Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns the Iranian authorities’ intensified crackdown on the human rights defenders exemplified by the grossly unfair prison and flogging sentence issued against Nasrin Sotoudeh and calls for an immediate reaction by the International community. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said: “We specifically call on the EU to act. The situation of the human rights defenders in general and Nasrin Sotoudeh, in particular, must be resolved before any other dialogue and negotiations between the Islamic Republic and the EU can continue.”