Iran releases political prisoners, including Sakharov Prize winner Nasrin Sotoudeh

Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been released two years into her six year prison sentence, according to her husband. At least seven more political prisoners have also been reportedly set free.

“It’s not a temporary release, it’s freedom. They put her in a car and dropped her off at the house,”Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan told Reuters from the couple’s home in Tehran.

“We are all so happy from the depths of our hearts. But we are waiting for the last [political] prisoner to leave prison,”

Sotoudeh was arrested in 2010 and later convicted on charges of spreading propaganda and endangering state security. Her sentence was initially for eleven years, but was subsequently shortened to six on appeal.

50-year old Sotoudeh had defended prominent opposition politicians prior to her detention, as well as taking on numerous human rights cases in the Islamic theocracy. She served her term in Tehran’s Evin Prison, and was designated a prisoner of conscience by leading international advocacy groups.

Sotoudeh was awarded the prestigious Sakharov Prize for defending human rights last year.

Among other inmates unexpectedly released on Wednesday was former deputy foreign minister Mohsen Aminzade.

The reformist politician was a key figure in the failed Green Revolution following the presidential elections in 2009, and was jailed in a subsequent crackdown on the same charges as Sotoudeh.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who has replaced Mohamed Ahmadinejad as president after winning the election in June, promised to release political prisoners and to loosen social controls in the Islamic Republic during his election campaign.

By ًRussia Today


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