Prominent human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani has been given a furlough after more than seven years in an Iran prison.
Soltani’s daughter Ma’edeh Soltani confirmed on Wednesday that her father has been released. The furlough has raised hopes that the lawyer may not have to serve the rest of his 13-year sentence, imposed in 2011.
Soltani is in fragile health after his detention. He was given day release on August 4 to attend the funeral of his 27-year old daughter Homa.
The announcement comes days after another human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was denied visits with her children. The attorney, a political prisoner from 2010 to 2013, was seized again in June over her defense of woman accused of violating Iran’s compulsory hijab law.
Soltani co-founded the Center for Defenders of Human Rights in 2001. In October 2012, he was awarded the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Award.
The lawyer has periodically gone on hunger strike to protest prison conditions and mistreatment of detainees. He suspended his last strike on March 26 at the request of thousands of attorneys and civil society activists who feared for his life.