Reports indicate that Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, has contracted the corona virus.
According to the Campaign for the Defense of Political and Civil Prisoners, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was sent on temporary prison leave from Qarchak prison in Varamin with the consent of the prison supervisor on November 7th, 2020, has contracted corona virus.
Reza Khandan, Nasrin Sotoudeh’s husband, wrote on his personal Twitter account: “Last Wednesday, during my first meeting with Nasrin in Qarchak prison, she said that there are signs of Corona in our ward and many prisoners had fallen ill. For this reason, she was in a hurry to pursue her leave paperwork. Nasrin’s test result was positive today.”
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.
Amnesty International has previously called the detention of human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh “cruel” and called for European pressure on Nasrin Sotoudeh to be released.
The mayor of Paris has previously issued a statement granting honorary citizenship of Paris to Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer imprisoned in Iran, for her role in defending human rights in Iran. On April 1st, 2019, while presenting the honorary citizenship, the mayor noted that Ms. Sotoudeh fight for basic principles and rights of women are inspiring for all and granting of honorary citizenship to Ms. Sotoudeh is in defense of her activities and a message for her release from prison.
Also, on Thursday, April 20, 200 lawyers from the Milan judiciary gathered in front of the Iranian consulate in the city in support of Nasrin Sotoudeh.
” Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to a very severe sentence for a specific reason; “She has defended people who should not.”
The Swedish Pen Association presented its 2018 Special Award to Nasrin Sotoudeh.
In a text published by the official website of the Swedish PEN Association said, “This year’s Swedish PEN gives Tucholsky prize to Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer and writer, for her courage and her constant struggle to defend the voices that are in danger of censorship and silence in Iran.”