Iran: human rights lawyer released from prison

Iranian lawyer and prominent human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh was permanently released on Sept. 18, after spending over two years in prison. Sotoudeh was serving six-year sentence for her September 2010 arrest and conviction for “propaganda against the system” and “harming national security.” Other prisoners serving prison terms related to the 2009 mass protests were also released that day. Among the released prisoners was former Iranian deputy foreign minister Mohsen Aminzadeh who was sentenced to six years in prison for his participation in protesting the 2009 presidential election. It is estimated that the total number of prisoners released is around 10.

From Jurist, Sept. 19. Used with permission.

Note: Sotoudeh’s release comes ahead of the first UN visit by Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani, and it appears she was released on his authority. (The Guardian, Sept. 18)

  1. Iran rights lawyer banned from practicing law

    The semi-official news group Iranian Students' News Agency reported on Oct. 19 that an Iranian court has banned a prominent human rights lawyer from practicing law for three years. Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has won numerous awards for her work, stated that she will not appeal the decision. However, she plans to stage a protest outside the Iran Bar Association headquarters later this week. Sotoudeh claims that the bar association had been under pressure to ban her ever since she was released early from prison last year after being sentenced in 2011 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.

    From Jurist, Oct. 19. Used with permission.

  2. Iran: human rights lawyer again arrested

    Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested Dec. 3 on unknown charges, according to her husband Reza Khanda. Khanda reported that the couple's car was surrounded by intelligence agents in Tehran and both were arrested. Khanda stated on his Facebook page, "Nasrin and I were arrested. I was freed but Nasrin is still in detention." No information has been revealed why Sotoudeh was detained, but it is reported that she had criticized education restrictions and employment opportunities for political opponents in Iran via Facebook. Sotoudeh was reportedly released later that day.

    From Jurist, Dec. 10. Used with permission.