Iranian activist Sotoudeh tests positive for coronavirus



Iranian human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, her husband Resa Chandrin wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

Chandan said she had contracted the virus at the Gharchak women’s prison, where she was transferred in October.

The conditions at the prison in the capital city Tehran were particularly catastrophic, he said.

In recent weeks, the number of coronavirus cases in Iran has risen dramatically.

On Tuesday more than 450 deaths and over 10,000 new infections within 24 hours were reported.

The Ministry of Health has registered almost 40,000 deaths in connection with the virus and over 700,000 infections since the beginning of the pandemic.

Lockdowns have been reintroduced in several large cities, and in Tehran, a city of millions, there are plans for a night-time curfew.

On Nov 7, Sotudeh was temporarily released for the first time in over two years.

According to Chandan, his wife’s state of health has been worrying in recent weeks, especially after her almost 50-day hunger strike.

Sotoudeh, a 57-year-old lawyer and women’s rights activist, was accused of disseminating “subversive propaganda.’’

According to her husband, Sotoudeh was sentenced by a revolutionary court in 2018 to 33 years and six months in prison and 148 lashes.

She must serve at least 12 years in detention. Later reports put the sentence at 38 years.

Sotoudeh has denied all charges against her in court, saying she had only peacefully fought for women’s rights and against the death penalty.

Sotoudeh and Chandan are among the most renowned human rights activists in Iran.

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