An Iranian lawyer on hunger strike was taken from prison to hospital

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Nasrin Sotoudeh, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, who started a hunger strike more than a month ago, was transferred from prison to a hospital in Tehran after a “sharp decline” in her health, according to her husband.

Sotoudeh, who won the 2012 Sakharov Prize, which is granted by the European Parliament, is serving a 12-year prison sentence in Evin Prison in Tehran, issued last year against the lawyer who previously defended women who were arrested for protesting against the laws on imposing the hijab. Sotoudeh was arrested in June 2018.

Her husband, Reza Khandan, told «AFP», yesterday, Saturday, that Sotoudeh was admitted to the cardiac care unit at Taleqani Hospital in the Iranian capital, after arriving at the emergency department earlier.

He explained, “We were allowed to see her for some time … Her condition severely weakened, she lost a lot of weight, and her eyes were sunken.”

Khandan had previously reported that Sotoudeh had started a hunger strike on 11 August. And it published a statement saying that the conditions of political prisoners are getting more difficult, especially in light of concern about the spread of the new Corona virus, which Iran is the most affected country in the Middle East region.

The disease “Covid-19” caused by the virus has killed more than 24,000 people and infected about 420,000 others, according to the latest official figures issued by the Iranian Ministry of Health on Saturday.

Sotoudeh, 57, said that her strike is to secure the release of political prisoners who did not benefit from the exemptions that allowed the release of tens of thousands of other convicts following the spread of “Covid-19”, after the judiciary did not respond to its written pleas.

The lawyer’s husband expressed his concern about his wife’s health condition in the hospital, saying that “it is not a safe place in relation to the Coronavirus,” and he lacks “appropriate isolation procedures.”

Khandan stressed that what his wife is suffering is “very difficult,” noting that the authorities overseeing the prison “do not cooperate and do not respond to us adequately when asked about the prisoners’ condition.” We were not even informed of her transfer to the hospital. ”

He pointed out that the family learned of Nasreen’s transfer for treatment through one of the prisoners who informed her husband, and he in turn contacted Khandan and informed him of that.

Activists say the Iranian authorities are directly targeting the Sotoudeh family with a series of measures aimed at making them surrender, including freezing her family’s bank accounts over the summer.

In August, her 20-year-old daughter, Mehravi Khandan, was arrested on charges of assaulting a prison guard while visiting her mother. She was released on bail, but she still faces a possible trial.





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