IRAN: NASRIN SOTOUDEH 'TEMPORARILY' RELEASED AMID HEALTH CONCERNS
November 8, 2020:
Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian human rights lawyer jailed on spying and propaganda charges, has been temporarily released from prison. (Sources: Radio Farda, Al-Arabi, 07/11/2020)
The move comes after 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 reported on 7 November, without disclosing further details. Other sources translated the Mizan news saying that “Sotoudeh… has been released temporarily with the consent of the prosecutor in charge of women’s prisons”.
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 a total of 38 1/2 years in prison and 148 lashes.
In September, she was transferred from a prison cell to a hospital north of Tehran following a hunger strike for better prison conditions and the release of political prisoners.
Days later, Sotoudeh was taken back to Tehran's Evin prison and ended her hunger strike after nearly 50 days due to deteriorating health, according to her husband.
The European Parliament awarded her the Sakharov Prize for human rights in 2012.