Home / Iran / Iran releases human rights activist on eve of Biden victory
TEHRAN, IRAN - DECEMBER 9, 2014: Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh photographed in the garden of her office on December 9, 2014 in Tehran, Iran. Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer who has represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors. Sotoudeh was arrested in September 2010 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security and was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Evin Prison. In January 2011, Iranian authorities sentenced Sotoudeh to 11 years in prison, in addition to barring her from practicing law and from leaving the country for 20 years. An appeals court later reduced Sotoudeh's prison sentence to six years, and her ban from working as a lawyer to ten years. On 26 October 2012, Sotoudeh was announced as a co-winner of the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament. She shared the award with Iranian film director Jafar Panahi. Sotoudeh was released on 18 September 2013 along with ten other political prisoners, including opposition leader Mohsen Aminzadeh, days before an address by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to the United Nations. No explanation was given for her early release. (Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)

Iran releases human rights activist on eve of Biden victory

Iran has temporarily released Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer who was jailed two years ago on spying and propaganda charges, the judiciary’s news agency reported on Saturday.

Sotoudeh’s release followed warnings last month by human rights groups that her health had severely deteriorated after she staged a six-week hunger strike to demand the release of political prisoners and rights activists.

“Nasrin Sotoudeh… went on furlough with the agreement of the assistant superintendent of the women’s prison,” the judiciary’s Mizan news agency said, without giving further details.

Iran has granted temporary release to thousands of prisoners following concerns over the spread of the coronavirus in jails in the Middle East’s worst-hit country.

Sotoudeh, 57, who has represented opposition activists including women prosecuted for removing their mandatory head scarf, was arrested in 2018 and charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader.

Sotoudeh, who denied the charges, was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes.

Just eight years earlier, she was jailed on similar propaganda charges and for conspiring to harm state security – charges she also denied – and was released after serving half her six-year term.

The European Parliament awarded her the Sakharov Prize for human rights in 2012.

Source: Reuters

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