Iranian authorities detain lawyer who has represented opposition activists

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities have detained a prominent Iranian lawyer who has represented opposition activists and political figures on suspicion of spreading propaganda against the ruling system, her family and attorney said Wednesday.

Nasrin Sotoudeh was summoned by official notice to Tehran's Evin Prison on Saturday, and has not returned home since, said Sotoudeh's laywer, Mina Jafari.

Jafari said that according to the summons, Sotoudeh was being held on suspicion of spreading propaganda against Iran's government and planning to disrupt the country's security.

Iranian authorities could not be reached for comment.

Sotoudeh, 45, has represented several activists and political figures who have been tried on charges of fomenting unrest after Iran's 2009 presidential election.

Since the disputed vote, authorities have tried more than 100 activists and opposition members on security charges. More than 80 of them have been sentenced to prison terms from six months to 15 years, while 10 of them been sentenced to death.

Iran's opposition says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the 2009 vote through fraud.

Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, told The Associated Press that his wife called home from prison Wednesday. "She said that she is fine, but her voice and tone were not fine," he said.

Sotoudeh is a close associate of Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, who has lived abroad since last year's elections.