State control

Reza Khandan was released on January 17, 2011. Reza Khandan, husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested early this morning when he arrived to the Prosecutor’s office to comply with the summon he received last week. According to reports by the website Change for Equality, the charges against Reza Khandan remain unclear. According to the family members, even though the court set a $50 thousand USD bail for his release, the bail amount posted by Nasin Soutoudeh’s sister has not been accepted.

This week Iran's judicial authorities sentenced my friend Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer, to 11 years in prison. Her case has attracted only modest attention in the West, but it is the latest example of Iran's unrelenting crackdown on dissent. It deserves greater notice. Nasrin belongs to a younger generation of Iranian human rights defenders who are being systematically bullied by the state into abandoning their work. The government has forced many into exile abroad, while meting out harsh prison sentences to others, like Nasrin, in order to intimidate the remaining few.

The court imprisoned Nasrin—and barred her from practicing law or leaving the country for 20 years—after finding her guilty of "acting against national security" and of "propaganda against the regime." Iran's government routinely levels these charges against lawyers, journalists, nongovernmental organization workers and others whose work it finds troublesome. Nasrin's only crime has been her passionate defense of Iran's most legally vulnerable citizens: juvenile offenders facing the death penalty, human rights campaigners, and prisoners of conscience.

Amnesty International dénonce les condamnations à des peines d'emprisonnement prononcées contre deux éminentes défenseures iraniennes des droits humains et exhorte les autorités à abandonner toutes les charges retenues contre elles. L'avocate spécialisée dans la défense des droits humains Nasrin Sotoudeh a été condamnée à 11 ans de prison, après avoir été reconnue coupable d'« agissements contre la sécurité nationale », de « propagande contre le régime » et d'appartenance au Centre de défense des droits humains (CDDH).

La justice iranienne a condamné l'avocate Nasrin Sotoudeh à 11 ans de prison pour son action en faveur des droits de l'Homme, allongeant la liste des personnalités lourdement condamnées après les troubles ayant suivi la réélection contestée du président Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mme Sotoudeh, arrêtée en septembre, a été condamnée à 11 ans de prison et à 20 ans d'interdiction d'exercer son métier d'avocate et de quitter l'Iran, a annoncé son mari, Reza Khandan, lundi à l'AFP. Elle a 20 jours pour faire appel.

Le réseau international de solidarité, Femmes sous lois musulmanes (WLUML) et la campagne "Violence is Not our Culture" (VNC), continuent à appeler à un procès juste pour deux femmes défenseurs des droits humains, membre de conseil de WLUML, Dr Isatou Touray, et Amie Bojang-Cissokho. 

Dr. Isatou Touray and Ms. Amie Bojang-Sissoho are, respectively, the Executive Director and Program Coordinator for the Gambia Committee for Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP), and have for many years been active in the promotion of gender equality, rights of women and children, particularly in the fight against female genital mutilation and other discriminatory practices. In May 2010, the Presidency set up a commission of investigation into the allegation that GAMCOTRAP had been mis-managing donor funds from an organization called Yolocamba Solidaridad.

Former Solicitor General Amie Bensouda has expressed dissatisfaction with the way, and manner the police investigated the GAMCOTRAP alleged theft case saying that the work of the police was the least satisfactory.  She told a court in Banjul that the police investigations were improper. Lawyer Bensouda argued that Gamcotrap is not a central bank licensed micro-credit organisation, and therefore not legally permitted to give-out micro-credit, as alleged by the state. But  the state witness maintains that he did not know that a central bank license is required for one to operate a micro-credit.

While various media have published news of an appeals court’s ruling of four years in prison and 74 lashes for human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari, her lawyer, Mohammad Sharif has not yet been served with the ruling.  ”I have not yet been officially served with the verdict, and unfortunately, the news was publicized in the media without my knowledge.  I learned about the ruling through the press, too,” he said.

The life of Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian human rights lawyer and women's rights activist, is in danger. Nasrin was arrested by Iranian authorities on 4th September 2010 for her activity in defending human rights in Iran, and has been held in prison for more than 103 days. The prosecutor has charged her with propaganda against the state and also for actions against national security. Under Iranian law the accused can only be held in custody for a maximum of seven days without charge after the preliminary investigation has taken place. 

Reza Khandan, the husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist illegally jailed in Evin prison, reports on the recent conversation he had with his wife during the last visit.Nasrin Sotoudeh is currently on hunger strike. She is demanding the annulment of the unjust laws devised after the 2009 Iranian Presidential election. She needs all your support so her voice can actually matter behind prison walls. Please do all that you can for Nasrin Sotoudeh. She needs you and we need her. Thank you!

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