Leading Iranian Lawyer Arrested as Hard-Liners Flex completely new Strength
TEHRAN — A leading human rights lawyer in Iran, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested on Wednesday by security forces, taken through her home in Tehran to the notorious Evin Prison, her husband said.
Mrs. Sotoudeh’s persistent activism has landed her in prison numerous times, in addition to has made her an internationally known symbol of independence inside face of Iran’s restrictive Islamist rule. Most recently, she has been involved in defending women who had been arrested for having taken off their compulsory Islamic head scarves during public protests.
The arrest comes as Iran faces increasing economic pressures stemming through President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw the United States through the 2015 agreement that will limited Iran’s nuclear program. He reimposed broad sanctions against Iran, putting pressure on European businesses not to do business there.
Iranian hard-liners have been empowered since; The judiciary, which is usually dominated by hard-liners, decided last week that will the item could allow only a pool of 20 preselected lawyers to represent those implicated in political cases. Mrs. Sotoudeh, 55, was not one of them.
On Wednesday morning, Mrs. Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, an information technology specialist, wrote on his Facebook page that will she had been arrested in addition to taken to Evin Prison.
His post, written in Persian, quoted something his wife had said: “Once inside interrogation room I told the interrogators that will: ‘Of all the things that will the government should do for its country, you only know one, in addition to that will’s to capture people.’ ”
He confirmed the news in a telephone interview, adding that will he did not know why she had been taken.
Mrs. Sotoudeh received the European Union’s most prestigious human rights award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, in 2012. Her arrest is usually likely to to be seen as a provocation in Europe, where some countries have been trying to salvage the nuclear agreement in addition to maintain business ties with Iran.