Iran: Human rights lawyer sentenced to 38 years, 148 lashes

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A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 38 years in jail and 148 lashes in Tehran, family has confirmed.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was charged with several national security-related offences, all of which she denies, reported BBC News.

Rights groups have strongly condemned the sentence against the award-winning human rights activist.

Ms Sotoudeh is known for representing women who have protested having to wear the headscarf.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh has dedicated her life to defending women’s rights and speaking out against the death penalty,” Philip Luther from Amnesty International said.

“It is utterly outrageous that Iran’s authorities are punishing her for her human rights work.”

Ms Sotoudeh’s husband confirmed her sentence on Facebook, after a brief phone conversation with her from prison, according to the Center for Human Rights in Iran.

Her lawyer said she was charged with spreading information against the state, insulting Iran’s supreme leader and spying, BBC reported.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer in Iran. She has represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors.

The UN investigator on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman, raised Sotoudeh’s case at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, saying that last week she “was reportedly convicted of charges relating to her work and could face a lengthy prison sentence.”

“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, CBC News reported.