Nation & World News

Iran Frees Political Prisoners

By Scott Neuman on September 18th, 2013

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was among several political prisoners released by Tehran on Wednesday, just days ahead of a visit by Iran’s newly elected moderate president to the United Nations in New York.

Sotoudeh, who had been held since 2010, was one of eight women and three men released, according to the BBC. Reformist politician Mohsen Aminzadeh was also among the prisoners freed.

“I am free from prison today, and I am glad, but I am worried for my friends in prison,” Sotoudeh told CNN by telephone from Tehran, adding that she was “free forever,” not on temporary release, and planned to resume her legal career.

In January, Sotoudeh, 50, was temporarily released, but apparently detained again later. She first ran into trouble with Iranian authorities for defending political activists and journalists, and “highlighting the execution of juveniles in her country,” The Guardian reports.

Sotoudeh had gone on hunger strikes in 2010 and 2012 to protest the conditions of her detention.

Aminzadeh served under President Mohammad Khatami as deputy foreign minister from 1997-2005. Later, he headed the opposition coalition and was arrested amid protests in 2009 over alleged vote rigging by then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In July, Aminzadeh, who suffers from heart disease, was hospitalized.

Reuters says that former Deputy Minister of Commerce Feizollah Arabsorkhi was also released.

The news agency said the number of prisoners released on Wednesday was not immediately clear, but the BBC put the number at 11.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences

President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued.


A sign posted Wednesday on the box office window at the Sunshine Cinema in New York. The New York premiere of The Interview, a Sony Pictures comedy about the assassination of North Korean President Kim Jong Un, has been canceled.

Sony Cancels Christmas Day Release Of ‘The Interview’ Amid Threats

The move follows the decision by major U.S. theater chains not to screen the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader.


Alan Gross, U.S. Contractor Freed By Cuba, Says ‘It’s Good To Be Home’

Havana freed Gross, who spent five years in a Cuban prison, as a humanitarian gesture. The former USAID contractor said he hoped the U.S. and Cuba move past their “mutually belligerent” policies.


The Rev. Libby Lane will be consecrated on Jan. 26.

Church Of England Names Its First Female Bishop

The Rev. Libby Lane has been a parish priest for 20 years. She will be consecrated on Jan. 26, becoming the first female bishop since the church was founded five centuries ago.


Alan Gross, the American who has spent five years imprisoned in Cuba, has been released.

Obama Unveils ‘New Approach’ On Cuba As Former Foes Chart New Course

The U.S. and Cuba will start talks on normalizing relations and discuss opening a U.S. Embassy in Havana. Also today, Cuba freed USAID contractor Alan Gross on humanitarian grounds.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments