Iran temporarily releases lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh from prison

Prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been temporarily released from a prison in Tehran. She was jailed two years ago on spying and propaganda charges.

Nasrin Sotoudeh, a human rights lawyer imprisoned in Iran, has been temporarily released from prison in Tehran, wrote the state news agency Isna on Saturday.

The release was ordered by the deputy public prosecutor in charge of the Gharchak women’s prison south of the capital Tehran, to which Sotoudeh was transferred from the notorious Evin prison last month. Initially, however, there was no information about her state of health or the conditions of her release from prison. The 57-year-old was hospitalized at the end of September after a week-long hunger strike. The renowned activist protested against the horrendous prison conditions during the corona pandemic and demanded the release of political prisoners.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested in 2018 and later sentenced to 33 years in prison. She was accused, among other things, of “conspiring against the system” and insulting Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Sotoudeh denied all allegations in court and stated that she was only campaigning for women’s rights and against the death penalty in her country.

The mother of two is also known internationally as a human rights defender. Her clients include the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, and she has also stood up for Iranian women who have protested against the headscarf requirement.

Sotoudeh was arrested for the first time for her commitment to human rights in September 2010. Exactly three years later she was released after international protests.

Two months ago, Nasrin Sotoudeh was awarded the 2020 Human Rights Prize by the German Association of Judges (DRB) in Berlin. The DRB paid tribute to her “courageous and tireless commitment to human rights and the rule of law”, through which she “has become a symbol of the Iranian civil rights movement”.

In 2012 Sotoudeh was awarded the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament. In October 2020 she received the Alternative Nobel Prize.