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Amnesty Int., U.S. Condemn Harsh Sentence For Iran Rights Defender

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh smiles at her home in Tehran on September 18, 2013

International human rights organization Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department have condemned the decision of Iranian courts to sentence a human rights lawyer to a long prison term and lashes.

“The sentencing of prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and women’s rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes in a new case against her is an outrageous injustice”, said an Amnesty statement on March 11, demanding her immediate release.

The long sentence was reported by her husband, Reza Khandan on his Facebbok page and in an interview with Radio Farda. A judge in Iran claimed that she has received a seven-year prison term.

The U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino tweeted that while the world is commemorating women’s rights (March 8), “the Iranian regime sentences #NasrinSotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights defender & women’s rights activist, to 38 years in prison & 148 lashings. Is this the “new era of justice” @Khamenei_ir proudly preaches about?”

Amnesty International voicing concern that the harsh sentence signals a greater repression against Iran’s rights activists called on government to intervene.

“Governments with influence over Iran should use their power to push for Nasrin 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”, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director said.