Jailed Iranian Lawyer Temporarily Released

Jailed Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh has been temporarily freed by the authorities.

Sotoudeh was released on January 17 for three days.

She is serving a six-year sentence after being convicted in September 2010 of spreading propaganda and conspiring to threaten national security.

Iranian authorities have not said why Sotoudeh was freed.

Iran's judiciary, however, occasionally grants a furlough to prisoners convicted of nonviolent crimes, especially for national holidays.

Sotoudeh has represented several high-profile journalists and human rights activists, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.

Sotoudeh staged a hunger strike last year for almost 50 days to protest the authorities' reported mistreatment of her young daughter.

The European Union awarded Sotoudeh with its Sakharov Prize in October in recognition of her courage in defending human rights.