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

Seattle Cuts Public Transportation Fares For Low-Income Commuters

Low-income riders can now qualify for a program that will slash their fares by more than half of peak rates. But the cost will be offset by fare increases for everybody else.


Task Force Calls For Independent Probes Of Police-Involved Shootings

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing also emphasized the need for better training and equipment, including bulletproof vests. But it stopped short of insisting police wear body cameras.


A photo from by the Taronga Zoo shows a six-month-old Quokka, a marsupial that has made it a hit on social media.

Cuteness Break: The Genial Quokka Steals Scenes And Hearts

In many photos from an Australian island, the marsupial appears front and center, adding its enigmatic smile to images of happy tourists.


A 33-foot-long tunnel found in Toronto, Ontario, is pictured in this handout photo provided by Toronto Police.

Riddle Of Mysterious Tunnel Solved, Toronto Police Say

Two men claimed they dug the tunnel for “personal reasons,” police say. The case has since been closed.


Artist Nelson Shanks' 2005 portrait of former President Clinton, which hangs at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery.

Clinton’s Portrait Has Hint Of Lewinsky’s Blue Dress, Artist Says

Nelson Shanks tells the Philadelphia Daily News a shadow on the left side of the painting represents not only the infamous dress, but also “a shadow on the office he held, or on” President Clinton.


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