Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh temporarily released from prison on health grounds

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Paris-Geneva, November 9, 2020 – Prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was temporarily released from Qarchak prison on November 7, 2020, because of her deteriorating health. The Observatory (FIDH-OMCT) and the League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) welcome Ms. Sotoudeh’s temporary release and call on the Iranian authorities to free her permanently and unconditionally.

On November 7, 2020, Nasrin Sotoudeh, arbitrarily detained since June 13, 2018, was able to reunite with her family at home, after she was granted temporary release with the consent of the prosecutor in charge of women’s prisons, in order to allow her to undergo treatment for her heart and pulmonary problems. Ms. Sotoudeh underwent a series of tests at home on November 8, 2020 and is now waiting for the results. The conditions of her medical leave remain unclear.

Ms. Sotoudeh’s health has deteriorated severely over the last few months due to the hunger strike she undertook in Tehran’s Evin prison from August 11 to September 25, 2020, to call for the release of all political prisoners in Iran. This hunger strike caused her serious cardiac and pulmonary problems, which led to her transfer to Taleghani Hospital (Tehran) from September 19 to September 23, 2020. She was then returned to prison before completing her full treatment and without receiving any specific medical attention, which put her health in great danger.

The Observatory and LDDHI are relieved that Ms. Nasrin Sotoudeh has been allowed to leave the prison and will now be able to receive the medical care that her health condition requires, and reiterate their call on the Iranian authorities to permanently and unconditionally release her.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

The League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI) was founded in Paris in March 1983, following the forced closure of the “Iranian Association for the Defence of Human Rights and Liberties” (established in 1977) in 1981, and the departure of its leaders into exile. Since its establishment, LDDHI has consistently reported and campaigned against human rights violations in Iran, concentrating on the abolition of the death penalty in Iran, women’s rights, freedom of political prisoners, rights of religious and ethnic minorities, freedoms of expression, assembly and association among others. LDDHI has been a member of FIDH since 1986.

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