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Imprisoned Iranian Human Rights Lawyer Begins Hunger Strike

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has begun a hunger strike seeking better prison conditions and the release of political prisoners amid the pandemic, her husband said Thursday.

Reza Khandan told The Associated Press his wife Nasrin Sotoudeh began the strike Tuesday and he feared it would exacerbate her chronic gastrointestinal and foot problems.

Iran has the highest number of virus-related deaths in the region with 19,162 after 174 died since Wednesday. The country reported more than 336,000 confirmed cases as of Thursday.

Sotoudeh, a mother of two, was arrested in 2018 on charges of collusion and propaganda against the system and eventually was sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Under the law she must serve at least 12 years, said Khandan.

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