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Jailed Iran Lawyer 'Gets Family Visit, Ends Hunger Strike'


 Nasrin Sotoudeh

Nasrin Sotoudeh

Jailed Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been visited by her sister and has called off her month-long hunger strike, Sotoudeh's husband has told RFE/RL's Radio Farda.

Sotoudeh, who is being held in Tehran's Evin prison, had launched a hunger strike at the end of September to protest being denied visits and phone calls from her family.

Her husband, Reza Khandan, told RFE/RL that Sotoudeh's sister, Guity, visited her in prison today.

He said Guity told him Sotoudeh had lost a lot of weight after a four-week hunger strike, during which she drank only water. Khandan said his wife apparently called off her hunger strike on October 23.

The two women were not allowed to speak about Sotoudeh's prison conditions, he said.

Sotoudeh represented a number of political prisoners who were taken into custody during the unrest that followed the disputed Iranian presidential election in June 2009.

She was detained on September 4 on charges of "acting against national security," "assembly and collusion to disrupt security," and "cooperation with the Defenders for Human Rights Center."

Sotoudeh represented noted journalist Isa Saharkhiz and the head of Iran's banned opposition Democratic Front, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, both of whom are currently in jail.

Saharkhiz and Tabarzadi, along with leading labor activist Mansour Osanlou and teachers union leader Rasoul Bodaghi, issued a statement on October 15 supporting Sotoudeh's "rightful demands" and asking her to end the hunger strike.

Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, former Czech President Vaclav Havel, and Zahra Rahnavard, the wife of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, have all called for Sotoudeh's release.

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