U.S. Demands Iranian Lawyer's Release

The United States has called on Iranian authorities to free jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been on a hunger strike for more than six weeks.

A State Department statement said Washington was “concerned for Sotoudeh’s well-being given Iran’s history of withholding treatment from prisoners and allowing them to die from hunger strikes.”

It called on the Iranian government to immediately release Sotoudeh and more than 30 other female political prisoners detained in Evin prison.

The statement said Sotoudeh had been denied medical care and kept in solitary confinement.

Sotoudeh, who last month was awarded the European Union's Sakharov Prize for human rights, was arrested in September 2010 on suspicion of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security.

She is serving a six-year term.