An Iranian writer and lawyer serving an 11-year sentence for her actions following her country’s 2009 presidential elections is to be honored in New York City for defending the right of free expression.

Nasrin Sotoudeh (nah-SAH’-reehn SAH’-too-day) will be honored Tuesday night with the 2011 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi (eh-BAH’-dee) will receive the award on her behalf.

Sotoudeh has been a writer, journalist and activist on behalf of women’s and children’s rights. As an attorney, she represented many Iranian opposition activists after the 2009 elections.

A special court found Sotoudeh guilty on Jan. 9 of “spreading lies against the regime,” “acting against national security” and other charges.

The PEN American Center award honors literary figures who resist persecution.