Imprisoned Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh will go on trial again on Sunday, the official Islamic Republic News Agency has quoted her lawyer as saying. Sotoudeh was arrested in June after defending women protesting against Iran’s hijab laws. At the time she was told she had already been found guilty of collusion and propaganda against the Islamic Republic and sentenced to six years in prison.
It was not clear what charges Sotoudeh would face in the new trial, which will be heard at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, news agency Agence France Press reports.
Before her arrest, Sotoudeh, 55, had taken on the cases of women arrested for standing in public areas without their headscarves. She had also criticised a new criminal code that allows only a small number of lawyers to represent individuals charged with national security offences, including a list of just 20 for the capital Tehran.
The European Parliament last week added its voice to international protests about Sotoudeh's detention, passing a resolution urging the government of Iran 'to immediately and unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh'. The resolution 'commends Nasrin Sotoudeh for her courage and commitment; urges the judiciary system of Iran to respect due process and fair trial and disclose information on the charges against Nasrin Sotoudeh'.
It also called on EU member states with diplomatic missions in Iran 'to fully implement the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders and to provide all appropriate support to Nasrin Sotoudeh and other human rights defenders, including prison visits, trial monitoring and the provision of legal or any other form of assistance that they might require'.
Sotoudeh won the European Parliament’s Sakharov human rights award in 2012 for her work on high-profile cases, including those of convicts on death row for offences committed as minors. She spent three years in prison after representing dissidents arrested during mass protests in 2009.