Iran: 'Objection by Nasrin Sotoodeh and her Lawyers to Court Procedures in Latest Hearing'

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Change for Equality

Nasrin Sotoodeh’s court hearing to review the latest charges of not observing the Hejab in a video, was scheduled to take place on December 27, 2010 in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court. But the court hearing was disrupted after Nasrin Sotoodeh and her lawyers objected to the procedures of the hearing. In response Judge PeerAbbassi, issued a five day mandatory prison sentence for Nasrin Sotoodeh for disrupting the court hearing.

According to one of her lawyers, Nasrin Sotoodeh objected to the presence of a video camera present in the court room, and the dismissal of one of the lawyers present during the hearing. Sotoodeh had objected to the lack of clarity regarding which governmental agency had sent video cameras to the court and was video taping the court proceedings. According to Reza Khandan, Sotoodeh’s husband, the Judge fined Sotoodeh for her objection, by sentencing her to a 5 day mandatory prison sentence.

Mahnaz Parakand, the lawyer representing Sotoodeh in Court explained that with respect to the latest charges against Nasrin, the court has referenced a note within the law, having to do with lack of observance of proper hejab. Given the charges, we objected that the Revolutionary Courts are not charged with overseeing such cases. It should be noted that prior to this, Nasrin Sotoodeh was tried in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Courts, with Judge PeerAbbassi presiding over the court hearing. She was charged with “actions against national security,” “spreading of propaganda against the state,” and “membership in the Defense of Human Rights Center.” The latest charges against her pertain to a video message she taped on the occasion of receiving an Italian Award for Human Rights. She had been banned from travel and unable to attend the ceremony in her honor, therefore she taped a video message that was aired during the event.

It should be noted that Nasrin Sotoodeh has gone on hunger strike several times, since her arrest on September 4, 2010, to object to the illegal treatment she has received in prison. She ended her last hunger strike on December 16, but remains in poor health due to her hunger strike and over 100 days in solitary confinement.

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