ACTION ALERT: Woman Lawyer in Iran Faces 148 Lashes and 33 Years in Prison

April 10th, 2019 - by Rewan Al-Haddad /
Lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh

(April 9, 2019) — 148 lashes on her body and nearly 4 decades in prison. This is the awful punishment Nasrin Sotoudeh will face for peacefully advocating for women’s rights in Iran. But we can help shine a light on this horror by getting G7 countries to use their diplomatic and economic leverage to end the crackdown on Nasrin and women all around the world. Add your name now and Avaaz will work with Nasrin’s G7 colleagues to deliver our call directly to key leaders! 

It’s hard to even imagine the pain and suffering this brave woman will face, but our voices can help free Nasrin and others like her. 
Nasrin was invited to advise the G7 on legislation to protect women, but was locked up when the meeting took place. If we ramp up pressure now, we can get those rich countries to call for the release of Nasrin—and others like her—using their diplomatic and economic leverage to end the global crackdown on women. 
This could be big—women’s rights abusing governments like Iran and Saudi Arabia are desperate for trade with G7 countries like France and Germany, so their pressure will go a long way. Add your name now ahead of a key meetingAvaaz will work with Nasrin’s G7 colleagues to deliver our call directly inside the room! 
Nasrin has done what other lawyers would never dare. She’s represented several women who were arrested after protesting the forced hijab law in Iran, journalists, high-profile rights activists, and even juveniles facing the death penalty. 
Now her body will be whipped for it. And she’ll be silenced for decades to come, just for standing up for what she believes in. 
It’s not just Iran. In Saudi Arabia, Loujain al-Hathloul, another brave women’s rights activist, is in jail and has faced torture just for wanting to drive! But both Iran and Saudi rely on their relationships with the richest countries on Earth—which is why pressure from G7 nations is so key to ending this crackdown. 
If we can build enough pressure, we can get the G7 to call for Nasrin’s release when they meet, and push them to commit to raising this in every meeting they have with countries that are cracking down on women. This could be an end to impunity for women’s rights abusers—so let’s make it happen! Add your name and share this widely!   
Click to Help Free Nasrin 

Iran could easily get away with this horrific sentencing of Nasrin. But this is what our community was built for! We helped save Sakineh Ashtiani 6 years ago when Iran was gearing up to stone her to death for adultery. We can do it again. And this time not just help save Nasrin but set precedent for stronger respect for human rights around the world for years to come. 
With hope and determination, 
Rewan, Bert, Mélanie, Ricken, Muriel, Rosa, and the entire Avaaz team

To Emmanuel Macron, host of the G7, and all G7 leaders:As concerned citizens from around the globe, we urge you to call for the release of Nasrin Sotoudeh in Iran, Loujain al-Hathloul in Saudi Arabia, and all other women’s right activists being imprisoned and abused around the world. We call on you to use your economic and diplomatic leverage to free these brave women and send a message to the world that women cannot be abused with impunity.

Amnesty Calls Sentencing of Iran Lawyer ‘Outrageous’

Al Jazeera

(March 12, 2019) — Amnesty International has condemned the sentencing of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh, calling it “outrageous injustice”.

Sotoudeh, who has been in Tehran’s Evin prison since last June, was sentenced to 148 lashes and 33 years in prison on Monday.

In 2016, she was sentenced in absentia to five years in a separate trial.

“It is absolutely shocking that Nasrin Sotoudeh is facing nearly four decades in jail and 148 lashes for her peaceful human rights work, including her defence of women protesting against Iran’s degrading forced hijab [headscarf] laws,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy director.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh must be released immediately and unconditionally and this obscene sentence quashed without delay,” he continued. 

The lawyer was convicted on seven charges, which Amnesty described as a response to “her peaceful human rights work”.

The charges include “inciting corruption and prostitution”, “openly committing a sinful act by… appearing in public without a hijab” and “disrupting public order”.

Amnesty noted that Sotoudeh’s sentencing is the harshest the group has documented in Iran in recent years, suggesting that the Iranian government is increasing its repression on activists and rights defenders.

Sotoudeh, 56, has represented several women arrested for protesting against the mandatory wearing of headscarves.

Sotoudeh won the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov rights award in 2012 for her work on high-profile rights and political cases, including juveniles facing the death penalty in the country.

She has defended journalists and activists, including Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi and several dissidents arrested during mass protests in 2009.

This is not Sotoudeh’s first stint in prison.

In 2010, she was arrested by security forces and later sentenced to 11 years in prison. She was also banned from practising law for 20 years, before the Lawyers’ Court at the Tehran Bar Association overturned the ban on her legal practice in August 2014.

During her time in jail, Sotoudeh staged two hunger strikes in protest against the conditions in Evin and a ban on seeing her son and daughter.

She was released in September 2013, shortly before Iran’s then-newly elected President Hassan Rouhani, who had campaigned on a pledge to improve civil rights, attended the UN General Assembly.

Amnesty’s Luther called on governments with influence over Iran to use their power to secure Sotoudeh’s release.

“The international community, notably the European Union, which has an ongoing dialogue with Iran, must take a strong public stand against this disgraceful conviction and urgently intervene to ensure that she is released immediately and unconditionally,” he said.

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh jailed ‘for 38 years’ in Iran (The Guardian)
Amnesty: Sentencing of Iran lawyer Sotoudeh ‘outrageous’ (Al Jazeera)
Nasrin Sotoudeh: Iran human rights lawyer jailed for 38 years, say family (BBC)
EU Foreign and Defence Ministry Condemns Conviction of Nasrin Sotoudeh (Center for Human Rights in Iran)…
“Feminist foreign policy”, Op-Ed by Jean-Yves Le Drian and Marlène Schiappa – 8 March 2019 (France diplomatie)…

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