RTL Today – Nasrin Sotoudeh: France “very worried” for Iran’s rights lawyer on hunger strike


France is concerned about the state of health of jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, hospitalized after starting a hunger strike of more than 40 days, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday .

The fast is intended to support calls for the release of political prisoners and to bring attention to their condition during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the lawyer’s husband.

“We are very concerned for the health of Nasrin Sotoudeh,” Le Drian told parliament, adding that she had been convicted simply “for doing her job as a lawyer”.

President Emmanuel Macron urged Iranian authorities to release her at every opportunity, Le Drian said, adding he was doing the same.

Sotoudeh has been sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison on a seven-count case, but she will only serve the longest 12-year sentence imposed for “encouraging corruption and debauchery”. She was also found guilty of espionage.

Sotoudeh was transferred to a cardiac care unit shortly after being taken to the emergency room at Taleghani Hospital in Tehran last week.

Meanwhile, two French lawmakers met with Iran’s ambassador to France to lodge their protest, Le Parisien newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Sotoudeh won the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize in 2012 for his work on high-profile cases, including those of those on death row for offenses committed as minors.

She spent three years in prison after representing dissidents arrested during mass protests in 2009 against the contested re-election of ultra-conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Activists say Iranian authorities are directly targeting Sotoudeh’s family with a series of measures.


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