RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
November 21, 2018 20:56 GMT
Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani was released from prison after spending more than seven years behind bars, local media report.
The semiofficial ISNA news agency said on November 21 that Soltani was reunited with his family after a Revolutionary Court ruled to release him the previous day.
"The authorities agreed yesterday to my client's conditional parole and he was released today," IRNA quoted Soltani's lawyer, Saeed Dehghan, as saying.
The lawyer's release could not be immediately confirmed by his family or legal team.
Under Iranian law, convicts can be granted conditional freedom after serving at least half of their prison terms.
Soltani co-founded the now-banned Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC) with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.
He was arrested in September 2011 and later sentenced to 13 years in prison on charges including “spreading propaganda against the system” and “setting up an illegal opposition group.”
Soltani was briefly released from prison in August to attend the funeral of his 27-year-old daughter, Homa, who died of a heart attack.
International human rights groups said Soltani was a prisoner of conscience whose sentencing was entirely connected to his professional work and defense of human rights.
Iran has jailed scores of human rights lawyers and activists on similar charges.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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