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Iran releases jailed human rights lawyer

18 September 2013, 23:33

Dubai - Imprisoned Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has defended human rights activists including Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, has been released by the authorities, her husband wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

Sotoudeh, herself a human rights activist, had been serving a six-year sentence after being arrested in September 2010 and convicted of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.

Her husband Reza Khandan, whose Facebook page is followed by thousands, wrote in a short post on Wednesday: "Nasrin came... they told her you are free ..."

Khandan did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and no further details were available on the conditions of Sotoudeh's release.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who took office last month, pledged during his election campaign to ease some political and social restrictions at home, and his supporters have called for the release of political prisoners in Iran.

An Iranian opposition news site, Kaleme, reported on Wednesday that authorities had released seven female political prisoners, though Sotoudeh was not among those named by the site.

Last year, Sotoudeh held a hunger strike for nearly 50 days to protest at authorities' treatment of her young daughter, who was subjected to a travel ban.

At the time, the United States sharply criticised Iranian authorities over the case, and demanded that Sotoudeh be freed.

- Reuters


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