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Iran urged to drop prison sentences against human rights activists

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 13, 2011

Amnesty International has denounced the prison sentences imposed on two leading Iranian human rights defenders and urged the authorities to drop all charges against them.

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been jailed for 11 years on charges of “acts against national security”, “anti-regime propaganda” and belonging to the Centre for Human Rights Defenders.

The charges relate to her human rights work after the country’s disputed 2009 presidential elections. It appears that Sotoudeh may not yet have been told the verdict and sentence imposed on her.

Journalist Shiva Nazar Ahari had her four-year prison sentence imposed for “acts against national security” and other charges, confirmed by an appeal court on Sunday. She may also face flogging; it remains unclear whether this part of her original sentence, subsequently converted to a cash fine, has been reinstated.

“The sentences imposed on Nasrin Sotoudeh and Shiva Nazar Ahari are outrageous and make a mockery of justice,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Both women have been sentenced on account of their courageous defence of human rights and the very standards and values which the Iranian government is bound by international treaties to uphold,” said Malcolm Smart. “It is truly a sorry state of affairs when such actions can be branded a threat to national security or the peddling of propaganda.”

“Nasrin Sotoudeh is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally. Shiva Nazar Ahari should not be made to serve her sentence – it should be immediately withdrawn.”

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Iranian lawyer sentenced to 11 years in prison

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on January 10, 2011

Jailed Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh was sentenced to 11 years in prison as well as 20 years ban from travel abroad and from legal practice.

Her husband, Reza Khandan informed the Human Rights Reporters Committee that they now have 20 days to appeal the sentence.

Reza Khandan also added that Sotoudeh was given one year in prison for “propaganda against the regime while for the two other charges of “activities against national security and failing to adhere to Islamic hijab (head covering) in a filmed speech” she was given five years each.

Khandan reported that her wife was very distressed over the heavy sentence that she has received.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, whose practice mainly focused on human rights violation cases, was arrested on September 4 and has been in Evin Prison since.

She has gone on hunger strike twice to protest against her inappropriate treatment in jail and the legal proceedings of her case.

Her arrest has been protested by several human rights activists and organizations both in Iran and abroad.

The most recent protest was a three-day sit-in organized by seven Iranian women activists including Nobel Peace laureate, Shirin Ebadi in front of the United Nations Office at Geneva on December 19.

On the third day, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay issued a letter addressed to Ebadi stating that she will follow up on Sotoudeh’s case and other Iranian political prisoners through all legal channels open to her and her office. 

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Iranian activists end their protest in Geneva

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on December 23, 2010

Shirin Ebadi and the group of Iranian women activists who started a sit-in outside the offices of the United Nations in Geneva on December 20 to protest against the continued incarceration of their peer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, ended their sit-in today.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian lawyer who has been jailed in Iran since September on charges of “propaganda against the regime and collaboration with the Human Rights Defenders Centre”, ended her hunger strike yesterday at the behest of her family and numerous political figures who were deeply concerned for her well-being.

As Sotoudeh languished in jail after almost three weeks of hunger strike while the Iranian judiciary remained unresponsive to her demands for a just trial, Shirin Ebadi along with Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Shadi Sadr, Parvin Ardalan, Mansureh Shojaee, Khadijeh Moghaddam and Asieh Amini, seven prominent Iranian women’s rights activists began a sit-in in front of UN offices in Geneva to focus attention on Sotoudeh’s plight.

Tthese activists issued a statement on Wednesday maintaining that they had organized their sit-in “to enable the voice of Nasrin Sotoudeh to speak to the world” and also to enlist the assistance of the UN Human Rights Council to save their imprisoned colleague.

“Unfortunately our protests have not been successful;” the statement goes on to add. “Nasrin and other political prisoners are still incarcerated under inhumane conditions. During the three-day sit-in many civil and human rights’ activists declared their support for the sit-in. As a result, the protest against harsh conditions of Nasrin has evolved into a general demand for investigating unfair convictions of all political prisoners in Iran.” They point out that in the mean time two more women’s rights activists, Bahareh Hedayat and Mehdieh Golrou, sentenced to long imprisonment terms, have started a hunger strike to protest against their dire situation in prison.

They list the numerous other imprisoned dissidents such as Mohammad Nourizad, Ebrahim Yazdi, Mohammad Oliaeifar and Moansor Osanlo who are suffering from fragile health in Iranian prisons while the judiciary refuses to provide them with adequate health care.

They refer to the plight of student activists, such as Ahmad Zeydabadi and Abdollah Momeni, as well as journalists such as Bahman Ahmadi Amoi, Massoud Bastani and Nazanin Khosravani imprisoned for long prison terms or held in legal limbo.

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Last year interview with now imprisoned Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh

Posted in Uncategorized by fartashphoto on November 24, 2010

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer who is now in prison.