One consistent hallmark of abusive laws is how often they lend themselves to being used to settle scores, to frighten a subjugated class into continued submission, or to pile on additional punishments out of sheer contempt. Sharia is replete with such examples.
Pakistan’s blasphemy law is one such law, and here is another illustration of the cavernous gap between Sharia as advertised for Western consumption (where, for example, the hijab is always portrayed as a personal choice) and Sharia as implemented in Islamic societies. Funny how the same human rights abuses keep turning up, from Aceh to Tehran, to Chechnya, and beyond. “Iran: Leading human rights lawyer ‘jailed for 11 years’,” from AdnKronos International, January 10:
Tehran, 10 Jan. (AKI) – Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 11 years in jail, according to her family. She was also banned from practising law and travelling abroad for 20 years, her family said.
The New-York based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran deplored Sotoudeh’s sentence as a “gross miscarriage of justice” and said that it should be overturned by an appeals court.
The judge sentenced her to five years in prison on charge of “acting against national security,” another five years for “not wearing hijab (the face-covering Islamic veil) during a videotaped message,” and one year for “propaganda against the regime,” The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said.
Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband, said she was also found guilty of membership of the Human Rights Defenders’ Centre, a group headed by Iranian Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi.
Reza Khandan, Sotoudeh’s husband, in an interview with the Campaign described the ruling as “highly strange and unjust.”
The accusations were levelled against Sotoudeh, mainly over interviews with foreign-based media about her clients jailed after Iran’s disputed June 2009 presidential election, Khandan said.
Sotoudeh has defended Iranian opposition activists and politicians and has defended many of those arrested during and after the 2009 presidential polls. The Iranian opposition alleges the polls were rigged to ensure hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election.
Ebadi, is one of Sotoudeh’s clients and has campaigned strenuously for due process to be observed in her case. Ebadi is reported to have organised a sit-in at the UN Human Rights Council to raise awareness about the case and to plead for more international support.
Sotoudeh, a 45-year-old mother of two, was arrested on 4 September 2010, accused of acting against national security. Detained for long periods in solitary confinement, and denied contact with her family and lawyer, she nearly died after three dry hunger strikes to protest her prison conditions and violations of due process, according to the Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
She has reportedly been tortured in prison in order to force her to confess to crimes. Her physical condition had deteriorated to the point that her children cried in shock when they were finally allowed to see her, the group said….