Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Receives 11 Year Sentence
Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian Human Rights lawyer, received an 11 year prison sentence. Sotoudeh was arrested in September and went to trial on November 15 for allegedly acting against state security, assembling, and collusion with intent to disrupt national security. She was also charged for working with the Center for Human Rights Defenders, which was founded by Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi. In addition to the 11 year prison sentence, the court has prohibited Sotoudeh from practicing law or leaving Iran for the next 20 years.
Before her arrest, Sotoudeh was a member of the One Million Signatures Campaign and on the board of directors of the Society for Defense of Children's Rights.
Hadi Fhaemi, a spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, stated, "This is a transparently political sentence aimed at taking one of Iran's leading human rights defenders out of practice via a gross miscarriage of justice. Nasrin Sotoudeh has broken no laws, but is being jailed because she has upheld Iranian and international law in a judicial system bent on violating human rights."
Sotoudeh, who has been in Evin Prison since September 4, went on a hunger strike to protest the conditions of her illegal arrest. After ending her hunger strike for a few days, she started a dry hunger strike, protesting her deprivation of her legal rights, such as the right to telephone calls and visits from her family members and her two young children along with the gross mishandling of her case. She broke her dry hunger strike on November 11 and ended her hunger strike, which lasted a total of 50 days, following the trial.
Media Resources: Washington Post 1/10/11; BBC 1/10/11; International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran 1/9/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 11/16/10
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .