Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer known for defending women's rights, has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term and 148 lashes, according to her husband. It is also reported she could serve over 10 years in prison.
She received the European Union's human rights award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, in 2012.
She has reportedly been sentenced to a total of 38 years in prison and 148 lashes after what Amnesty International called two "grossly unfair" trials.
Sotoudeh, the co-winner of the European Parliament's 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, previous year represented several of the women detained for removing their head scarves in public to protest against the country's Islamic dress code.More news: Neil deGrasse Tyson Cleared in Sexual Misconduct Probe, Will Return to TV
The Iranian authorities subsequently laid seven further charges against her, including allegations related to national security, public order and appearing before the judiciary without a hijab. Regarding her 2016 conviction, she apparently had no knowledge that espionage charges had been laid against her until she was arrested in 2018.
The U.S. State Department on March 12 condemned the new prison sentences imposed on Sotoudeh "in the strongest possible terms".
Several Members of Parliament in Norway are also alarmed and strongly oppose her imprisonment and especially any lashes.
Amnesty demanded that Nasrin Sotoudeh must be released immediately and unconditionally and the sentence should be quashed without delay.More news: Sandy Hook families can sue gunmaker, says court
It said there were no grounds to justify the restriction of her rights and noted a number of violations of global standards relating to the right to a fair trial.
Javaid Rehman, the United Nations investigator on human rights in Iran raised Sotoudeh's case at the United Nations human rights council in Geneva on Monday. "(2) The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a outcome of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration".
In the letter, posted online by the Iranian Human Rights Activist News Agency, the signatories claim that the sentence is "a source of shame" and "shows a lack of tolerance in dealing with" lawyers "critical of the system".
He added: "Worrying patterns of intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers and labor rights activists signal an increasingly severe state response".More news: Not Rushing to Have Trade Deal with China, Says Trump
Sotoudeh, held at Evin Prison in Tehran, told her husband about the latest sentencing during a brief telephone conversation, the Center for Human Rights in Iran, a monitoring group, said in a statement on Monday.