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Daughter Of Prominent Jailed Lawyer Taken To Questioning In Iran

Nasrin Sotoudeh at her home in Tehran. FILE PHOTO
Nasrin Sotoudeh at her home in Tehran. FILE PHOTO

The daughter of a prominent imprisoned human rights advocate and internationally renowned lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who was arrested on Monday and taken for interrogation was released the same day, her father said.

An "Islamic Revolutionary Court" based at Tehran's notorious Evin prison, had summoned the twenty-year-old Mehraveh Khandan in what was a possible pressure tactic against her mother.

Speaking to Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Mehraveh's father, Reza Khandan, confirmed his daughter's release, adding that five intelligence agents had arrested Mehraveh "without explanation" and taken her to Branch 1 of the Evin Court.

Meanwhile, the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) referred to Mehraveh's detention on Monday, emphasizing that by such actions, the Islamic Republic Judiciary aims to put "more pressure" on Nasrin Sotoudeh who has gone on hunger strike, demanding the release of political prisoners in the clergy-dominated Iran.

In a letter on August 11, Sotoudeh announced that she had gone on an open-ended hunger strike. According to her lawyer she wrote in the letter that her decision was to protest the "unfair" and "illegal" condition of political prisoners in Iran, which has been "aggravated" since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

"Political [activists] have been accused of unbelievable acts: espionage, corruption on earth, undermining national security, prostitution, forming illegal channels on [messaging app] Telegram which can keep them behind bars for up to ten years or even lead to execution," Sotoudeh wrote.

"From the very start of the judicial process all the way through to sentencing, many suspects are denied independent legal representation or prevented from unrestrained consultation with their lawyers." She added that since "all correspondences remain unanswered," she decided to start a hunger strike.

International award-winning Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to a total of 33 years in prison and 148 lashes on several charges, including conspiracy against national security, spreading lies and disturbing public opinion.

Mehraveh's arrest, many social media activists believe, was meant to exert more pressure on the acclaimed lawyer.

On July 28, Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported that to further pressure her, Iran authorities had frozen Nasrin Sotoudeh’s bank accounts, while none of the charges against her were finance related.

Sotoudeh represented many human rights activists, women's rights activists, victims of child abuse, and juvenile defenders on death row. She was previously jailed from August 2010 to September 2013 for her professional and human rights activities.

Last February, French President Macron personally invited Nasrin Sotoudeh, to participate in a G7 council for promoting human rights. "I am pleased to invite you to this initiative to advance real equality between women and men around the world," Macron wrote to Sotoudeh.

Sotoudeh's seat in the council in France was kept vacant and adorned with a bouquet while she was behind bars in Tehran's infamous Evin prison.