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Iran opposition

Iran lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh back in prison after temporary release: Husband

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Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is back in prison less than a month after her temporary release from a 12-year jail term, her husband said Wednesday.

“Nasrin has returned to prison this evening,” Reza Khandan told AFP on Wednesday evening.

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Sotoudeh, 57 and a winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov prize, was released from jail on November 7 after being granted a temporary leave of absence.

The lawyer and activist was jailed in 2018 after defending a woman arrested for protesting against the requirement for Iranian women to wear the hijab.

She was told at the time that she had been sentenced to five years in prison in absentia for spying, according to her lawyers.

In 2019, she was sentenced again to 12 years in prison “for encouraging corruption and debauchery.”

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According to her husband, Sotoudeh’s health deteriorated badly behind bars, where she had to end in September a 45-day hunger strike that she had launched to seek the release of prisoners during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The judicial “authorities insisted that she return today” to prison, her husband said Wednesday.

The lawyer tested positive for Covid-19 a few days after her temporary release, Khandan said last month.

Iran has registered nearly 49,000 coronavirus deaths and more than 989,000 cases, making it the worst affected country in the Middle East by the pandemic.

Since March, more than 100,000 inmates have been granted temporary release to limit the spread of the disease in prisons, although many have since returned to jail.