News / Middle East

    Iranian Activist Ends 49-day Hunger Strike

    Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh ended a 49-day hunger strike Tuesday after authorities lifted a travel ban on her daughter.
    Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh ended a 49-day hunger strike Tuesday after authorities lifted a travel ban on her daughter.
    Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, in prison for charges of conspiring to harm state security, has ended a 49-day hunger strike after Iranian authorities bowed to her demand to lift a travel ban on her daughter, according to her husband.

    Sotoudeh’s husband, Reza Khandan, reported the end of the hunger strike on his Facebook page at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Tehran time, saying his wife “ended her hunger strike when the judicial restriction on Mehraveh was lifted.” The posting is no longer available.

    He also thanked women’s rights activists gathered outside the parliament and met with parliament members. Two members of Iran’s parliament, Mohammadreza Tabesh and Hassan Aboutorabi Fard, had been actively involved in the case, meeting with the head of parliament and the head of the judiciary to discuss Sotoudeh, according to the opposition website Kaleme.

    In recent days, Khandan had stated publicly that he was concerned for his wife’s health.

    Iranian social media users reacted positively to the news immediately, posting hundreds of messages on Facebook, Twitter and other networks popular among Iranians.

    Twitter user ‏@FerDokht tweeted :

    “The best news of today was the end of Nasrin Sotoudeh’s hunger strike :*”
    And posted the photo of a text message about the news. Text messaging is an important way to spread news in Iran. Another user tweeted “after 49 days, Nasrin Sotoudeh finally achieved human rights for her child” Over the past week, international pressure on Sotoudeh’s behalf had started to grow.

    Earlier Tuesday, Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged Iranian authorities to free Sotoudeh and lift the travel ban.

    On November 30, the U.S. State Department issued a statement, saying, “We are deeply troubled by reports of the rapidly declining health of jailed Iranian human rights defender … Iranian officials have denied Sotoudeh, a leading women’s rights champion, medical care during her more than six-week hunger strike and have kept her in solitary confinement.”

    The State Department went on to demand Sotoudeh’s release along with 30 other female political prisoners held in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.

    On Monday, Khandan told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that their children had not been able to have telephone calls with their mother for the past 19 months, even though prisoners are normally entitled to in-prison meetings and telephone calls with family members.

    Sotoudeh is a well-known figure in Iran for her work fighting human rights cases, and is currently serving a six-year jail sentence after a conviction for spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security. She was arrested in September 2010.

    Last month Soutoudeh and Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi were awarded the European Union's Sakharov prize for human rights and freedom of thought. Panahi has been held under house arrest since December 2010.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Saeid from: Malaysia
    December 05, 2012 11:06 PM
    Only God could save the world from this kind of malignant regime.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora