Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent human rights lawyer who is serving her sentence in Evin Prison, was transferred to Qarchak prison in Varamin today without prior notice under the pretext of being transferred to medical centers outside the prison.
According to the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners, this morning, October 20thm 2020, Nasrin Sotoudeh was transferred to Qarchak prison in Varamin without prior notice under the pretext of being sent to medical centers outside the prison.
Reza Khandan, Ms. Sotoudeh’s husband, confirmed the news on his Twitter page and wrote: “Today, Evin ward officers called Nasrin to get ready to send her to the hospital. “But she was transferred directly to Qarchak prison. According to experts, she should have been taken to the hospital for immediate heart examinations and angiography.”
Nasrin Sotoudeh has a long history of defending the rights of political prisoners, opposition activists, women and children. She is currently serving a long prison sentence for standing up to the country’s harsh and brutal legal system. She went on a hunger strike in protest of the illegitimate treatment and authorities disregard for the conditional release of prisoners on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020. On Friday, September 25th, 2020, after 45 days, due to her deteriorating physical condition and cardiovascular problem, she announced the end of her hunger strike.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested at her home and transferred to Evin Prison on June 13th, 2018. She was sentenced to 33 years in prison and 148 lashes on charges of “conspiring against state security”, “publishing lies”, “disturbing public opinion” and “insulting the authorities” which 12 years of imprisonment will be implemented.
She was later told that the reason for her arrest was to serve a five-year prison sentence in a case that she was sentenced in absentia in 2016. Ruling was issued on charges of gathering and colluding to disturb national security referring to sit-in protest in front of the Bar Association.
In Nasrin Sotoudeh’s new case, seven charges have been filed, for “gathering and conspiracy to disrupt the security of the country” she was sentenced to seven and a half years, for “membership in the Legam campaign” to seven and a half years, for “propaganda activities against the regime” to one year and Half, for “encouraging corruption and prostitution” to 12 years, for “appearing without a religious veil” to 74 lashes, for “publishing lies to disturb the public mind” to 3 years in prison and 74 lashes, and on charges of “disturbing order and Public Welfare ” to 2 years in prison.
Taking into account the 5 years prison sentence that was issued in her absence on 2016, the total sentence issued against Ms. Sotoudeh is 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.
Previously, Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested on September 4th, 2010, and charged with acting against national security, using propaganda against the regime and membership in the Center for Human Rights Defenders. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison, in addition to barring her from practicing law and from leaving the country for 20 years.
In Branch 54 of the Tehran Court of Appeals, this sentence was reduced to 6 years in prison and 10 years deprivation of the legal profession. She was released from Evin Prison after nearly three years in prison on September 18th, 2013.
So far, a large number of Iranian and non-Iranian citizens from around the world; Human rights organizations and international organizations have protested against Ms. Sotoudeh’s harsh sentence.
On Friday, May 24th, 2019, the Brussels Bar Association, in the presence of members of the Bar Association, several Belgian officials and a number of Iranians present in the hall of the Belgian Court of Justice, the foremost human rights award of the Brussels Bar Association was awarded to Nasrin Sotoudeh.
Also, the Swedish Right Livelihood Foundation has previously issued a statement announcing its annual Human Rights Prize, known as the Nobel Alternative Prize, for Nasrin Sotoudeh’s human rights work and efforts.