Husband of jailed Iran rights lawyer gets six years

Tehran (AFP) –


The husband of jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to six years for security related charges, his lawyer told AFP on Wednesday.

"Reza Khandan has been sentenced to five years' jail for conspiring against national security and one year for propaganda against the system," Mohammad Moghimi said.

"He has also been banned for two years from leaving the country, any activity in social media or newspapers and membership of political groups," Moghimi added.

The sentence was handed down by the Tehran revolutionary court, which also handed down an identical sentence against fellow rights activist Farhad Meisami, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Moghimi, who represents both defendants, said they would appeal.

Khandan, who was arrested at his home in September, was released on bail last month.

Meisami, who was arrested at his workplace in July, is still awaiting a decision.

Khandan's wife is an an award-winning rights activist who was arrested in June and told she had already been found guilty in absentia of espionage charges and sentenced to six years by the Tehran revolutionary court.

Before her arrest, Sotoudeh, 55, had taken on the cases of several women arrested for appearing in public without headscarves in protest at the mandatory dress code in force in Iran.

Sotoudeh won the European Parliament's prestigious 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 against the disputed re-election of hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.