Posted 2010/10/29

Iran: UPDATE- Human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh ends her hunger strike after prison authorities permitted a family visit

On 23 October human rights defender Nasrin Sotoudeh called off her month long hunger strike after prison authorities permitted a visit from her sister Guity. Nasrin Sotoudeh began her hunger strike in protest after prison authorities denied her visits and phone calls from family members. Ms Sotoudeh is being detained at Evin Prison, Tehran.

During the visit, Ms Sotoudeh was not permitted to discuss conditions inside the prison. Shortly after the visit, Ms Sotoudeh's husband Reza Khandan announced on the radio that she had officially called off the hunger strike. He also mentioned that Ms Sotoudeh had lost a lot of weight as a result of her hunger strike during which she only drank water.

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a prominent human rights lawyer, who in particular has worked with juvenile prisoners facing the death penalty as well as prisoners of conscience. Ms Sotoudeh represented a number of political prisoners who were taken into custody during the unrest that followed the disputed Iranian presidential election in June 2009. She is also a member of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child. On 4 September, Nasrin Sotoudeh was summoned to appear in court at Evin prison and was detained on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “collusion and gathering with the aim of acting against national security”.

Front Line is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological well-being of Nasrin Sotoudeh while in prison. Front Line believes that the detention of Nasrim Sotoudeh is directly related to her work as a human rights lawyer. Front Line calls on the Iranian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Nasrin Sotoudeh and to carry out a full and independent investigation into the arrest and detention. Front Line respectfully reminds the Iranian authorities of their obligations under international law which require that “all persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”

please see the previous update of 19,Oct.2010 of Front Line