Amnesty International reports that more than one million people in 200 countries have signed a petition condemning the severe prison term handed out to Iranian rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh and demanding her release.
Iran has jailed the defender of women who have protested against forced hijab and dissidents in Iran, on dubious charges and two trials without safeguards. As a result, Sotoudeh has received a 38-year prison terms and 148 lashes.
She was re-arrested one year ago, following a previous imprisonment years earlier. Amnesty International says it is organizing a “global handover” of the signatures, “calling on Iranian authorities to release her immediately and unconditionally”.
The Islamic Republic routinely arrests lawyers, rights defenders and dissidents and charge them with vague national security offenses.
“The cruel sentence handed down to Nasrin Sotoudeh for defending women’s rights and standing up against Iran’s discriminatory and degrading forced veiling laws has sent shock waves around the world. The injustice of her case has touched the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people who, in a moving display of solidarity, have raised their voices to demand her freedom,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
“Today we are sending them a clear message: the world is watching and our campaign will continue until Nasrin Sotoudeh is free,” Luther added.