Nasrin Sotoudeh Ends 49-Day Hunger Strike After Daughter’s Travel Ban Lifted
After 49 days on hunger strike, Nasrin Sotoudeh has ended her hunger strike today, December 4. On his Facebook page, Reza Khandan, the human rights lawyer’s husband, wrote at 8:00 p.m. Tehran time that Sotoudeh “ended her hunger strike when the judicial restriction on Mehraveh was lifted.” Reza Khandan thanked all those who were following the news about his wife’s health.
Since October 17, human rights lawyer and activist Nasrin Sotoudeh was on a hunger strike to protest the foreign travel ban imposed on her 13-year-old daughter, Mehraveh. Along with her father, Reza Khandan, Mehraveh had been served papers indicating that she was banned from leaving the country without any explanations or indication of her charges, solely because her mother is a political prisoner. Nasrin Sotoudeh was transferred to solitary confinement on Wednesday, October 31. No reasons were ever given for her transfer. She was transferred back to the General Ward on November 21. Today was the 49th day of her wet hunger strike.
Nasrin Sotoudeh was arrested on September 4, 2010. A lower court sentenced her to 11 years in prison, 20 years’ ban on her legal practice, and 20 years’ ban on foreign travel. An appeals court reduced her sentence to six years in prison and 10 years’ ban on her legal practice.
During an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Reza Khandan said yesterday that “female political prisoners are under severe pressure. Mrs. [Farah] Vazehan, a prisoner who suffers from cancer, had to embark on a hunger strike for eight days in order to be transferred outside the prison for medical treatment. This patient who is struggling with cancer inside the prison, had to go on a hunger strike for a chance to receive treatment outside. It is questionable why there is so much pressure on prisoners. We are baffled and don’t know the reason for all this pressure. My children have not been allowed even one second of telephone access to their mother for the past 19 months, whereas non-political prisoners are daily allowed to contact any part of the world. Our situation is such that our children cannot even hear their mother’s voice.”