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Iran grants rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh leave from prison Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran grants rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh leave from prison

Sotoudeh was jailed after defending a woman arrested for protesting against Iran's hijab requirement [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 March, 2021

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Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was granted a temporary leave of absence from prison for the Persian New Year.

Jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been granted a temporary leave of absence from prison on the occasion of the Persian New Year, her husband said Wednesday.

"Nasrin came on leave from Qarchak prison," Reza Khandan wrote on Twitter, posting a photo of the smiling lawyer standing beside him in a car park.

Sotoudeh, 57, was jailed in 2018 after defending a woman arrested for protesting against the requirement for Iranian women to wear the hijab.

A winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov prize, she had returned to prison in December after being granted a leave of absence for less than a month for treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Her new leave of absence was granted on the occasion of the Persian New Year (Nowruz), which Iranians celebrate this year on March 20.

Khandan did not say how long it would last.

In October, Sotoudeh was transferred from Evin prison in northern Tehran to Qarchak, more than 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of the capital, after her husband expressed concern about her health.

She was told in 2018 that she had been sentenced to five years' jail in absentia for espionage, according to her lawyers.

In 2019, she was sentenced again, to 12 years in prison, "for promoting corruption and debauchery".

Agencies contributed to this report.

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