Imprisoned Iranian lawyer ends hunger strike-website

DUBAI (Reuters) - Imprisoned Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh ended her nearly 50-day long hunger strike on Tuesday, an opposition website said, after authorities lifted a ban on her young daughter travelling abroad.

Sotoudeh, a lawyer and human rights activist, is serving a six-year jail sentence after being arrested in September 2010 and convicted of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.

She began a hunger strike on October 17, according to the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI), in protest against a ban on her 13-year-old daughter leaving the country and limits on visits by her family.

"After 49 days, Nasrin Sotoudeh ended her hunger strike ... after judiciary restrictions on her daughter Mehraveh Khandan were lifted," the opposition Kaleme website reported.

Sotoudeh's husband Reza Khandan told Reuters last week he was seriously concerned about his wife's health. According to ICHRI, Sotoudeh has suffered severe weight loss and has been taken to the prison infirmary several times.

The United Nations' top human rights official Navi Pillay urged Iran earlier on Tuesday to free Sotoudeh and to lift a travel ban on her family.

A parliamentary committee planned to visit Tehran's notorious Evin prison where Sotoudeh is being held due to concerns over her deteriorating condition, Iranian media reported on Sunday.

Sotoudeh and Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi were awarded the European Union's Sakharov prize for human rights and freedom of thought last month. Panahi has been held under house arrest since December 2010.

Sotoudeh has defended journalists and rights activists, including Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi and Dutch national Zahra Bahrami, who was hanged in January 2011 on drug trafficking charges.

The United States demanded on Friday that Iran free Sotoudeh, and sharply criticised Iranian authorities for their treatment of her.

(Editing by Jon Hemming)


Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE