Jailed Iranian rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh hospitalized amid hunger strike

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and her husband Reza Khandan in Tehran on Sept. 18, 2013. (AFP)
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Updated 19 September 2020

Jailed Iranian rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh hospitalized amid hunger strike

  • Sotoudeh was hospitalized for heart, respiratory problems and low blood pressure

TEHRAN: A leading Iranian human rights lawyer has been hospitalized a month after launching a hunger strike seeking better prison conditions and the release of political prisoners amid the pandemic, her husband said Saturday.
Reza Khandan said that health care professionals decided to hospitalize his wife, Nasrin Sotoudeh, because of heart and respiratory problems as well as low blood pressure.
Khandan said Sotoudeh was transferred to a hospital in north Tehran from the notorious Evin Prison earlier on Saturday.
Sotoudeh began her hunger strike in mid-August from her prison cell. She was arrested in 2018 on charges of collusion and propaganda against Iran’s rulers and eventually was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Under the law she must serve at least 12 years.
During her prison term, Sotoudeh occasionally visited clinics as she suffered chronic gastrointestinal and foot problems.
Earlier this year, the 57-year-old Sotoudeh — known for defending activists, opposition politicians and women prosecuted for removing their headscarves,— held a five-day hunger strike demanding prisoners be released to protect them from the coronavirus.

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

Updated 19 min 40 sec ago

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

  • London describes incident as ‘unacceptable’
  • Strip-search took place in Doha airport

LONDON: British authorities have formally registered concerns with Qatar following reports that two women who are UK nationals were strip-searched in Doha.

The forced medical examinations were carried out in Doha airport after authorities discovered a newborn baby in a bin.

This, it is claimed, prompted them to conduct “urgently decided” intrusive examinations, described as “absolutely terrifying” by one of 13 Australian women on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to them.

The British women were part of a group that was forced to disembark flights before having their underwear removed for a female medical professional to carry out an examination assessing if they had recently given birth.

The complaint was registered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which said in a statement: “We are providing ongoing support to two British women following an incident in Doha. We have formally expressed our concern with the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways and are seeking assurances an unacceptable incident like this cannot happen again.”

Australian officials said passengers from 10 flights leaving Doha on Oct. 2 were subjected to the ordeal.

“The advice that has been provided indicates that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” said a spokeswoman for the office of Australia’s foreign minister.

Sources familiar with the incident have said the newborn is alive and in care, and the mother has not been identified.