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IHRDC Welcomes the Release of Political Prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran

(September 19, 2013) – The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) welcomes reports that more than a dozen political and religious prisoners, including prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, have been released from the jails of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). The release of the political and religious prisoners comes on the eve of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s first-ever address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month.

Since Sotoudeh’s arrest, IHRDC has repeatedly called for her release and documented the increasing restrictions on the independent legal profession in Iran, including the arrests and disbarment of criminal defense lawyers. In addition to Sotoudeh, who was arrested and held in custody for more than three years on account of her defense of individuals in politically sensitive matters, the freed individuals include Mohsen Aminzadeh, a prominent reformist leader and minister in former President Mohammad Khatami’s administration; Feizollah Arabsorkhi, a leading member of Mojahedin-e Enghelab-e Eslami—a political opposition group; Mahboubeh Karami, a  journalist, women’s rights defender and prominent member of the One Million Signatures Campaign, whose plight was documented in the IHRDC report Silencing the Women’s Rights Movement in Iran, and other women’s rights activists, journalists, political opposition, civil society activists and religious minorities.

“While the release of these individuals should be commended, hundreds of other prisoners who have been incarcerated solely for the exercise of their human rights and the legitimate expression of their beliefs remain in Iran’s jails,” said Gissou Nia, the Executive Director of IHRDC. “The Iranian authorities should heed the demands of civil society and make continued efforts to secure the release of these individuals, including imprisoned student activists and members of the Bahá’í Faith.”

For more information on the conditions of political prisoners in the IRI, please visit IHRDC’s prison issue page to view individual witness testimonies from former political prisoners and read reports about prisons in the IRI.

 

For further information, please contact:

Gissou Nia

Executive Director

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

Email: GNia@Iranhrdc.org

Phone: +1 203 654 9342