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Prominent Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Ordered Back to Prison

Prominent Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Ordered Back to Prison

Thursday, 3 December, 2020 - 06:15
Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh (pictured 2013) was jailed in 2018 after defending a woman arrested for protesting against the requirement for Iranian women to wear the hijab Behrouz MEHRI AFP/File

Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is back in prison less than a month following her temporary release as her health deteriorated, her husband said Wednesday.

“Today we were told that Nasreen should return to Qarshak Women's Prison,” Reza Khandan wrote on his Twitter page, adding that the judiciary ignored instructions from doctors to extend her release for another week.

The judiciary did not comment on Khandan’s tweet.

Sotoudeh was released from prison last month for the first time in more than two years.

Khandan had said that his wife's condition is extremely worrying after she went on a hunger strike for almost 50 days to seek the release of prisoners during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Sotoudeh, 57, was due to undergo another round of scans and tests to monitor her heart on Sunday, Khandan said, stressing that she was hospitalized for five days in a Tehran hospital last September.

Also, she tested positive for Covid-19 a few days after her temporary release.

Her husband said she contracted the virus during her final days in the Qarchak women’s prison just before coming out on furlough.

The UN had called on Iran to free Sotoudeh, a winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov prize, as well as other political prisoners excluded from a push to empty jails amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Last August, the lawyer announced she was going on hunger strike to demand the release of political prisoners and focus attention on their plight due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But health issues prompted her to stop the hunger strike more than 45 days after she started it.

Sotoudeh was sentenced in 2019 to serve 12 years in jail for defending women arrested for protesting compulsory headscarf laws in Iran.

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