(WNN) Tehran, IRAN: On the second day of three day temporary release from the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, Iran human rights attorney Ms Nasrin Sotoudeh is reunited with her husband Reza Khandan and two children, Mehraveh age 12 and Nima age 4. Losing weight in what advocates say has brought Sotoudeh down to only 95 lbs since her 2 plus years stay in prison, Amnesty International is hoping that Nasrin can receive medical check ups while she her incarceration has been temporarily lifted.
In October 2012, along with Iranian social justice filmmaker Jafar Panahi, attorney Nasrin Sotoudeh was honored recently with the European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Sotoudeh was arrested in September 2010 after providing legal services and representation in cases of human rights protection under the law for democracy activists, rights lawyers and other clients, including Dr. Ms. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who now lives in exile. Dr. Ebadi has also had her husband in Iran and relatives threatened as well as having her Peace Prize medal and her family bank account seized and confiscated by Iranian authorities.
In Strasbourg, France, at the Sakharov Prize ceremony on October 26, 2012, Dr. Ebadi accepted the prize for Sotoudeh in her absence.
Sentenced to 6 years in prison and banned from practicing law in the region for 10 years Sotoudeh has been held in solitary confinement for her views on freedom and human rights in the region, say international advocates. The sentence given to Sotoudeh by the Iranian court was based on charges that she was “spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.”
On December 4, 2012 Sotoudeh halted a 49 day hunger strike in prison that was started after prison authorities denied her the right to family visits. During this time she was also denied rights to receive telephone calls from her family.
In July 2012 a travel ban was placed on Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan covering all travels outside of Iran. Her 12-year-old daughter Mehraveh was also placed under an international travel ban with a summons to appear at the Shahid Moghaddas Security Court, a court legally reserved for adults, not children.
“We didn’t expect it, and we hadn’t planned any trips,” said Sotoudeh’s husband Reza Khandan to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran after the ban was placed on himself and his daughter. “I believe this was done with the objective of destroying the psychological and mental balance of our family and for inflicting shock to all the family members,” continued Khandan.
With imminent dangers to her health, loss of weight and symptoms of physical debilitation due to her fasting, Sotoudeh halted her hunger strike in December after the ban on her daughter’s travels was lifted by Iranian authorities.
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