Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian human rights lawyer who has been jailed in Evin Prison in Tehran and Qarchak Prison in Varamin since 2018, was released today on furlough.
Sotoudeh was first arrested in August 2010 after representing activists and other Iranians who were involved in the 2009 protests against the disputed reelection of then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The detention led to widespread condemnation and recognition through human rights awards by the international community.
Sotoudeh staged a number of hunger strikes during her time in prison. Days before President Hassan Rouhani was due to appear at the United Nations, in September 2013, she was released.
Her second arrest, in June 2018, led to charges of espionage, dissemination of propaganda and disparaging the Supreme Leader of Iran, as well as a five-year prison term.
Six weeks ago Sotoudeh began a new hunger strike to demand the release of political and human rights activists. Her temporary release comes after warnings over her deteriorating health. Thousands of political prisoners have been temporarily released in Iran because of the coronvirus pandemic and there have been widepsread calls to grant Sotoudeh the same treatment.
A new documentary film, Nasrin, filmed in secret inside Iran over the past two years, was recently released and has been screened worldwide through a series of online events.