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Iran rights lawyer convicted of ‘national security’ crimes for representing protesters
© WikiMedia (Hosseinronaghi)
Iran rights lawyer convicted of ‘national security’ crimes for representing protesters

The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) announced Tuesday that human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh had been convicted in absentia by Judge Mohammad Moghiseh of Iran’s Revolutionary Court.

Sotoudeh had been charged with a number of crimes including “assembly and collusion against national security,” “propaganda against the state,” “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center, the Legam group [against capital punishment], and the National Peace Council,” “encouraging corruption and prostitution,” “appearing at the judiciary without Islamic hijab,” “disturbing public peace and order” and “publishing falsehoods with the intent to disturb public opinion.” Sotoudeh has been detained in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June when she was taken from her home by security agents. This is not her first time in Evin Prison; Sotoudeh previously served three years from 2010-2013 for taking on other political cases as a defense lawyer.

CHRI’s Executive Director Hadi Ghaemi stated, “The Iranian judiciary prosecuted Sotoudeh under national security charges to send a clear message that it will not tolerate the peaceful defense of human rights by activists or their lawyers. We should all speak out against this travesty of justice.”

In 2012 Sotoudeh won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, Europe’s highest human rights award, and recently defended women accused of removing their hijabs to protest a law requiring that women wear the traditional Muslim head covering.