Detained Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Protests “Fabricated” Charges by Refusing to Post Bail
Detained Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has refused to post bail in protest against the charges that have been laid against her.
“Nasrin believes the bail amount is not only heavy but also does not fit the baseless and fabricated charges against her, and she has refused to accept it,” Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on June 23.
Bail had been set at 650 million tomans (approximately $152,500 USD) for the well-known human rights lawyer to be released until being tried for the charges of “propaganda against the state” and “assembly and collusion against national security.”
Iranian security agents arrested Sotoudeh, 55, at her home on June 13, 2018, based on a complaint filed by a judicial official in Kashan, 152 miles south of Tehran, in connection with Sotoudeh legally representing Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who has been charged for peacefully protesting against Iran’s compulsory hijab law.
Sotoudeh also recently publicly criticized the judiciary’s decision to restrict the right to counsel of detainees facing politically motivated charges to just 20 state-approved lawyers.
Sotoudeh has refused to retain a lawyer to reiterate her opposition to the list and has threatened to remove her hijab in prison if she is not released.
Sotoudeh was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2010 for the charges of “acting against national security,” “collusion and propaganda against the regime,” and “membership in the Defenders of Human Rights Center.” Her sentence was reduced on appeal to six years in prison and she was released in September 2013.
Iran has a documented history of harassing and jailing lawyers who have taken on politically sensitive cases.
Well-known human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani is currently serving a 13-year sentence in Evin Prison for the charges of “being awarded the  Nuremberg International Human Rights Award,” “interviewing with media about his clients’ cases,” and “co-founding the Defenders of Human Rights Center.”
Human rights attorney Hadi Esmailzadeh was also imprisoned twice before he died from a heart attack in February 2016 after being sentenced to four years in prison in July 2014 by a Revolutionary Court for the charges of “propaganda against the state” and “membership in the Center for the Defenders of Human Rights.”