Tuesday, September 17, 2019 06:39

Former president visits convicted human rights lawyer

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Sotoudeh and Khatami

Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami has visited human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who is currently on leave from Evin Prison.

Sotoudeh is serving a six-year sentence for “acting against national security, propaganda against the regime and membership in the Human Rights Defenders Centre.” As well, she is banned from practicing law and traveling abroad for 20 years.

Sotoudeh has become a prominent symbol of resistance against the oppressive policies of Islamic Republic authorities because of the hunger strikes she has undergone to protest the mistreatment of families of political prisoners.

Sobhe Omid News website reports that during his visit, the former prime minister expressed every hope for the release of all political prisoners so that “everyone can serve the people and the country.”

He stressed that such a development “would benefit everyone, especially the system and the country, and would make the future much more hopeful.”

Following the victory of Hassan Rohani, the presidential candidate backed by reformists including Mohammad Khatami, the moderate factions of the Islamic Republic have become more vocal about a possible opening of the country’s political scene, and their demands for the release of political prisoners.

Mohammad Khatami’s website reports that on his visit, Nasrin Sotoudeh told the former president about her own situation in prison and also gave a general report about the conditions of other political prisoners.

Sotoudeh reportedly told Khatami: “We are all concerned for the country and do not consider ourselves to be dissenters; however, we do believe that different opinions should be allowed expression in complete security.”

Sotoudeh reportedly called for “the release of political prisoners, and just and due process for all prisoners in accordance with constitutional provisions in open courts.”