Nasrin Sotoudeh Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison, Banned From Practicing Law & Leaving Country for 20 Years
The Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR) – Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court with Judge PirAbassi has sentenced Nasrin Sotoudeh (lawyer) to 11 years in prison and banned her from practicing law and leaving the country for 20 years. Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband told CHRR, “This sentence was delivered to my wife’s lawyer Nasim Ghanavi and now we have 20 days to request an appeal.” According to Khandan, the sentence was issued even though Nasrin Sotoudeh was expecting a lighter sentence and she was in good spirits during the last visitation. Khandan added, “My wife received one year imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime”, a total of ten years for the two charges “acting against national” and “violating the Islamic dress code (Hijab) in a filmed speech”. Other reports indicate that Nasim Ghanavi and Reza Khandan were summoned to the Revolutionary Court. Khandan said, “I was asked to appear in branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court. In the written summon, the word “defendant” was used when referring to me. Of course, I was also summoned about ten to twelve days before my wife’s arrest. At that time I was warned about the interviews I had given.” Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested on September 22, 2010 and has been in solitary confinement since. Her trial took place on November 15th in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court with Judge PirAbassi. She was initially charged with “acting against national security” and “propaganda against the regime.” The charge of “violating the Islamic dress code in a filmed speech” was later added on. Sotoudeh has spent a large portion of her incarceration on hunger strike. Nasrin Sotoudeh is a lawyer and the winner of the Human Rights Award from the International Human Rights Organization. She is also a member of the Defenders of Human Rights, the One Million Signatures Campaign to Change Discriminatory Laws Against Women, and the Society for Protecting the Rights of the Child. In her capacity as a legal councillor, Sotoudeh has represented many human rights activists, women’s rights activists, child victims, victims of child abuse, and children risking execution. In 2008, Sotoudeh was awarded the Human Rights prize by the International Committee on Human Rights.
At least 70 killed in Iranian passenger plane crash
(Reuters) – At least 70 people were killed and 35 injured when an Iranian Boeing 727 passenger plane crashed in bad weather in north-western Iran on Sunday, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent said. Mahmoud Mozafar told Reuters that many of the injured were in a bad condition. He said 106 people, 12 crew members and 94 passengers were on board the Iran Air plane when it crashed. Another Red Crescent official, Heidar Heidari, told the state news agency IRNA, that the “death toll is expected to increase.” Earlier, Iranian media gave different accounts of the number of people on board the plane, which some officials said crashed just before landing at the airport in the city of Urumiyeh. One official said 50 people were rescued and that rescue operations were being hampered by snow and fog in the area. Mozafar told state television “the plane was smashed into pieces but did not explode.” Shahrokh Nioushabadi, a spokesman for Iran’s national airline, Iran Air, told the semi-official Mehr news agency that two children were among the passengers. State television said the Iran Air plane was en route from the capital Tehran to Urumiyeh. The last major air crash in Iran was in July 2009 when a Caspian Airlines Tupolev aircraft bound for Armenia caught fire in mid-air and crashed into farmland near the city of Qazvin, killing all 168 people on board. One of the country’s worst air accidents happened in February 2003 when an Iranian Ilyushin-76 troop carrier crashed in southeast Iran, killing all 276 Revolutionary Guard soldiers and crew aboard.
Iranian regime targets Christians with a wave of arrests
The Wall Street Journal, reported that the Iranian authorities have arrested dozens of Christians in the two weeks since Christmas, the latest challenge to the Mideast’s small but vibrant Christian communities. The arrests around the country appear focused on individuals who have converted from Islam or sought to convert others from Islam—actions considered sins under Islamic law and punishable by death in Iran. Tehran’s governor, Morteza Tamadon, confirmed there have been detentions and said more arrests were on the way, state media reported.
According to reports received by “Human Rights and Democracy in Iran” the Iranian regime is planning the executions of political prisoners Jafar Kazemi and Mohammad Ali Aghai on Tuesday, the 11th of January. At this time, the signs and evidence surrounding the case point to the date of the 11th of January as the date for implementation of their sentences. Mr. Kazemi’s family was informed last week that the case of Jafar Kazemi has been referred to the execution branch of the Revolutionary Court and is awaiting confirmation.
“Spain’s Courage: Holding Iraq Accountable”
Huffington Post reported on January 7, 2011: the Government of Spain--has shown humanitarian concern about the plight of 3,400 Iranians in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. On January 4, 2011, an Investigative Court of the Spanish National Court summoned Iraq’s Lt. Gen. Abdul-Hussein Shemmari to appear in Spain on March 8, 2011, or face charges of complicity in murder for having directed an assault on 3,400 Iranians who are supporters of the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK). The attack on Camp Ashraf directed by the Lt. Gen. Shemmari left 11 dead and 500 wounded. Today, the people in Camp Ashraf are beset, day and night by 180 blaring loudspeakers urging them to end their struggle and return to Iran--there to face death. Iraq has also constrained food deliveries and medical services to Camp Ashraf. The Iraqi forces and the agants of the Iranian regime on Friday once again attacked the camp by throwing rocks and sharp glasses over the fence, wounding 175 men and women of Ashraf.