Iran Nasrin Sotoudeh awarded Sakhorov price
Nasrin Sotoudeh defended many of the human rights activists who were arrested after the presidential elections in June 2009. She also defended Shirin Ebadi, the human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate who co-founded the Defenders for Human Rights Center. She also acted as lawyer of the Iranian-Dutch human rights activist Zahra Bahrami, who was executed in Iran on 29 January 2011.
Sotoudeh was originally sentenced to 11 years in prison, but in appeal that sentence was reduced to 6 years. Also, she was banned from practising law and travelling abroad for a period of 20 years. She received the punishment for allegedly undermining national security, propaganda against the regime and for not wearing a hejab (Islamic dress or headscarf).
The Sakharov Price for Freedom of Thought honours exceptional individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression to defend human rights and freedom of expression. The price, named in honour of the Soviet physicist and political dissident Andrei Sakharov, is awarded annually by the European Parliament since 1988.
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