GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognised Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognises the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals.
On the day the United Nations made the announcement, Iran sentenced Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, to an extra 10 years in jail on top of the five-year term she is already serving for defending protesters against the Islamic Republic's mandatory hijab laws.
A judge at a revolutionary court in Tehran, Mohammad Moqiseh, said on Monday Sotoudeh had been sentenced to five years for assembling against national security and two years for insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Varying reports suggest Ms. Sotoudeh has been sentenced to between seven and 33 years' imprisonment, and that she has been sentenced to 148 lashes. She was also sentenced to 148 lashes, he said. Though she denied the charges, she was imprisoned for 11 years and was barred from practising law for 20 years. She was arrested again last June.
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. If not, it has not been determined why what he said differs from what Sotoudeh was told. 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.
"This verdict shows that making statements in our country comes with such a high price that an attorney can be sentenced to 44 years for it", he told the center.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested from her house eight months ago.
The European Parliament has urged Iran to stop criminalizing the work of women's rights activists and reiterated its call on the country's authorities to "immediately and unconditionally" release prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh.
The worldwide human right NGO said that this is the harshest sentence it has documented against a human rights defender in Iran in recent years.
Amnesty launched an online petition under the title "Free Nasrin Sotoudeh now", calling on the worldwide community to pressure Iran into releasing Sotoudeh after "after two grossly unfair trials". "This sentence is unjust, illogical and unusual", he has said.
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".