A Facebook page dedicated to Nasrin Sotoudeh's plight has more than 50,000 followers
Iranian women inmates sit in their cell in the Evin jail, north of Tehran. A prominent jailed Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, has ended a hunger strike in Tehran's notorious Evin prison after 49 days, according to a lawmaker on Wednesday. © Atta Kenare - AFP/File
A Facebook page dedicated to Nasrin Sotoudeh's plight has more than 50,000 followers
AFP
Last updated: December 5, 2012

Jailed Iranian rights lawyer ends hunger strike

A prominent jailed Iranian human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, has ended a hunger strike in Tehran's notorious Evin prison after 49 days, according to a lawmaker on Wednesday.

"Sotoudeh's hunger strike has ended after an intervention by heads of the judiciary and parliament," Mohammad Reza Tabesh told the ISNA news agency.

The opposition website Kalame.com reported earlier that Sotoudeh, 47, ended her protest Tuesday after Tabesh and another lawmaker took steps to have authorities lift restrictions and harassment directed at her family.

A Facebook page dedicated to her plight, with more than 50,000 followers, hailed the news but warned that the internationally recognised Sotoudeh now needed urgent medical care outside the prison.

Detained since August 2010, Sotoudeh is serving an 11-year prison sentence for defending political prisoners and aiding the human rights work of Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi.

The official charge against her is "conspiring against state security."

This year, Sotoudeh won the European parliament's prestigious Sakharov rights prize.

The mother of two young children began her hunger strike on October 17 to protest against her conditions in Evin prison, limits placed on family visits and official harassment of her relatives.

Her husband and 12-year-old daughter were slapped with a travel ban, among other punishment.

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Tuesday she was "extremely concerned" about Sotoudeh, and called for her prompt release as well as the lifting of sanctions on her family.

The United Nations, the European Union and the world's main international human rights groups have often called for Sotoudeh to be freed, calling her a prisoner of conscience.

Tabesh said he believed the news of Sotoudeh ending her protest would now "alleviate pressure by international bodies against Iran."

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