An Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for defending women’s right to remove the hijab. Nasrin Sotoudeh, the lawyer in question, has been given a punishment which is reportedly even harsh by Iranian standards.

Sotoudeh, has dedicated her life to defending the rights of Iranian women who have been prosecuted for removing their hijab in public places, which is a punishable offence in Iran.

She was arrested in Iran last year on charges “inciting corruption and prostitution”, “openly committing a sinful act by… appearing in public without a hijab” and “disrupting public order”. Previously, she was arrested in 2010, and served a sentence for six and half years, and has been on the government’s watch list for years now. Nevertheless, her belief is very strong and undeterred when it comes to women rights.

According to Amnesty International she has been given the harshest sentence possible. Sotuodeh was handed a sentence 33 years in prison and 148 lashes in the recent sentencing. However, in September 2016, she had been sentenced in her absence to five years in prison in a separate case. Which raised her total sentence after two trials to 38 years.

However, it must be noted that, her husband Reza Khandan has clarified to BBC that while she had been sentenced to 38 years in total, according to a new Iranian law, she would only serve the longest sentence for one of the convictions, which was 10 years.

The world got to know about this, only when her husband – Reza Khandan wrote of her new and harsher punishment on Facebook

Sotoudeh was tried in private, with only a few people present, and the trial was not in public knowledge. The world got to know about this, only when her husband wrote of her new and harsher punishment his Facebook page on Monday.

People from all over the world have expressed solidarity with Sotoudeh and believe that the sentence given to her is unfair.

The Executive Director of the New York based Centre for Human Rights in Iran; Hadi Ghaemi told CBS news that this decision had “exposed the insecurity the regime has to any peaceful challenge.”

On the very same day that Sotoudeh was arrested, an investigator from UN held up this case as a symbol of how the country is increasingly oppressive on those who talk about and defend the rights of women.

This investigator had also claimed that:

 “Worrying patterns of intimidation, arrest, prosecution, and ill-treatment of human rights defenders, lawyers, and labor rights activists signal an increasingly severe state response.”

We can only hope that Sotoudeh gets the justice and the recognition she deserves. It is because of fearless people like her that everyone gets inspired and dedicates themselves to such a cause.

Read Also: Female World Leaders Stand Together Against Erosion Of Women’s Rights

Image credit: BBC

Kavya Shah is an intern at SheThePeople.Tv

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