The City of Florence has awarded its 2010 human rights award to jailed Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh and Peruvian human rights activist, Fr. Mario Bartolini.
The We-change website reports that the city council of Florence cited Sotoudeh’s active resistance to legal discrimination against women, her defence of juvenile offenders sentenced to death and her struggle for gender equality in Iran.
The city of Florence human rights award is given out every two years to two individuals or organizations that have taken “worthy steps to promote and establish peace and to defend human rights and have suffered harm and abuse in this path.”
Sotoudeh was arrested last September and charged with intent to disrupt national security and propaganda against the regime. She was held in solitary confinement for months and she has repeatedly contested the irregularity of the legal proceedings brought against her.
Sotoudeh’s practice mainly concentrated on human rights cases such as women’s rights issues, juvenile offenders sentenced to death and most recently cases of political dissidents arrested in the post-election protests in Iran.
She has been sentenced to 11 years in prison and also faces a 20-year ban on practicing law and traveling abroad.