Iranian authorities have published and confirmed the most recent verdict against human rights lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh.
The official verdict states that she will serve 26 years and a total of 148 lashes. This has been added on to five years she is already serving for espionage. It is the second of two verdicts against her.
“She said she wouldn't want to appeal, and the reason is that the judicial process is unfair and such protests will do no good," Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan told Agence France Presse in a telephone interview. "She does not want to undertake any judicial action since she does not agree with the judicial process. Nothing will be done along these lines."
Reza Khandan also spoke to IranWire on March 11. “Nasrin had no lawyer and she was personally informed of the verdict in prison,” he told us.
The charges against her include "gathering and collusion against national security", "propaganda activities against the regime," and "encouraging people to corruption and prostitution."
Previously, IranWire and others reported that she would serve 38 years, but this has not been confirmed. However, as the most recent verdict is the second against her, she could face 38 years when the most recent verdict is added to a previous one. There have been discrepancies and contradictions throughout the case, including from the judge who presided over it, who said that Sotoudeh had been sentenced to seven years in prison. A few days later reports of a 38-year-sentence emerged.
Sotoudeh was arrested in June 13, 2018, when she began serving the previous sentence.
The verdict was published on March 18, almost a month after judicial authorities handed down the sentence to Sotoudeh.
According to Iranian law, the court is required to present a copy of the verdict to the defendant or her lawyer, but in cases of a political nature, Tehran’s Revolutionary Court only allows the defendant or her lawyer to read the verdict and make a copy by hand. The text below is a transcribed version of the verdict taken from Nasrin Sotoudeh’s hand-written copy made in prison.
The Verdict Handed down to Nasrin Sotoudeh, human rights lawyer
Date: February 19, 2019
On January 1, 2019, Branch 28 in the case No. 97/20891 T/D — charging Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, daughter of Agha Jan, with gathering and collusion against national security, propaganda activities against the regime, active membership in an illegal group acting against the regime’s security, encouraging people to corruption and prostitution and providing their means, disturbing public order and peace, spreading falsehoods to mislead the public mind, appearing without hijab before the examining magistrate at the aforementioned branch. Through considering the contents of the dossier, the results of the investigation and by hearing the defense of the defendant, the court declares the end of the proceedings and issues its verdict as detailed below.
The Verdict in Detail
Concerning charges against Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh, daughter of Agha Jan, as to gathering and collusion against national security, propaganda activities against the regime, active membership in an illegal group acting against the regime’s security, encouraging people to corruption and prostitution and providing their means, disturbing public order and peace, spreading falsehoods to mislead the public mind, appearing without hijab.
Considering the contents of the dossier, the results of the investigations and the report by the Intelligence Ministry show that on February 11, 2018, following the period of unrest in December 2017, the accused, in complicity and collusion with prominent anti-revolutionary elements who want to overthrow the regime, published a statement asking for a referendum under the supervision of the United Nations to decide on the form of the government.
She, along with Shirin Ebadi, the escapee organizer of the Defenders of Human Rights Center cabal, Narges Mohammadi, vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center cabal, Payam Akhavan, Jafar Panahi, Mohsen Sazegara, Mohammad Seifzadeh, Hasan Shariatmadari, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, Abolfazl Ghadiani, Mohsen Kadivar, Kazem Kandovani, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mohammad Maleki and Mohammad Nourizad — all hostile to the regime of the Islamic Republic regime and who want to overthrow the regime and some of which are escapees abroad and some of which are in the country — have signed the statement issued by the defendant and have attached to it the scheme to overthrow the Islamic Republic regime with a referendum.
After the appearance of the Street Girls [“Revolution Women”] and the removal of their hijabs to promote corruption and prostitution, and to support girls who removed their hijab in public, the aforementioned [defendant] posted a video of herself online showing her taking off her hijab. To support removal of the hijab in public and to encourage people to taking off their hijab, with the complicity of her spouse Reza Khandan and certain elements and individuals supporting the overthrow [of the regime], they went to the location where the Street Girls had removed their hijabs and placed a bouquet of flowers on the electricity box [on which the women had protested, using the box as a makeshift platform] and distributed badges with the slogan: “I protest against forced hijab.”
On January 9, 2018, the defendant participated in the illegal gathering of Gonabadi dervishes, and on October 12, 2017, accompanied by the individuals and elements belonging to the illegal clique Legam [supporters of the "Step by Step to Stop the Death Penalty" campaign], participated in an illegal gathering outside the United Nations office and delivered a speech at this gathering. And on November 7, 2017, she participated in an illegal rally against the Islamic Republic regime in front of Evin Prison.
Considering the contents of the dossier and the results of the investigations, charges against the defendant are proven to be true. Based on Article 610 of the Islamic Penal Code, the court sentences the defendant to seven years and six months for gathering and collusion with the intent of harming national security. Based on Article 500 of the Islamic Penal Code, the court sentences her to one year and six months, taking into account her time in detention. On the charge of promoting corruption and prostitution, the court, based on Article 639 of the Islamic Penal Code, sentences the defendant to 12 years in prison, taking into account her time in detention. On the charge of appearing without sharia-mandated hijab in public, the court, based on Article 638 of the Islamic Penal Code, sentences her to 74 lashes. On the charge of spreading falsehoods to mislead the public mind and based on Article 698 of the Islamic Penal Code, the court sentences her to three years in prison and 74 lashes. On the charge of disrupting public order and based on Article 618 of the Islamic Penal Code, the court sentences the defendant to two years in prison, taking into account her time in detention.
This verdict is issued in absentia. It can be challenged in this court for 20 days after the communication of this verdict [to the defendant and/or her lawyer]. After that, it can be appealed through the appeals court of the province. Article 134 of the Islamic Penal Code will be carried out.
—President of Branch 28 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court
Tehran Magistrate of General Courts
More on the persecution of Nasrin Sotoudeh and her fight for human rights:
Husband of Prominent Lawyer Arrested, September 5, 2018
Human Rights Lawyer Charged With Assisting Spies, August 16, 2018
Protesters Demand Release of Human Rights Lawyer, June 17, 2018
The Regime’s Tactics Against Iran’s “Revolution Women”, February 26, 2018
Nasrin Sotoudeh: “Preventive Arrest” is Illegal, January 8, 2018
Faezeh Hashemi and Nasrin Sotoudeh Visit Baha’i Prisoner, May 13, 2016
“The Security Forces are Trying to Ruin us Financially”, September 24, 2015
50 Iranian Women you Should Know: Nasrin Sotoudeh, September 9, 2015
Nasrin Sotoudeh, My Lawyer, September 19, 2013