"Those books subjected to censorship or denied permission to be published in the past will be reviewed again and new decisions will be made. Our approach towards freedom of the press and books, as well as relaxing the atmosphere for writers and thinkers, is different from the past and its results will gradually become apparent."
Iran has released the award-winning human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, and several other political prisoners from jail a week before President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to New York for the UN general assembly, in what appears to be the most tangible sign of change so far under his moderate administration.
The authorities drove Sotoudeh from Evin prison in Tehran to her house in another part of the Iranian capital and told her she did not need to return to jail.
"They were quite certain this time that I’m freed and I don’t need to go back," the 45-year-old women’s rights activist told the Guardian by phone from her home.
NPR: “Singer Mohsen Namjoo was sentenced to five years in prison in absentia under President Ahmadinejad for songs disparaging the Koran. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Namjoo on the day before Hassan Rouhani is sworn in as president.”
“They always show the guys shouting “Death to America!!” Just once I wish the media would show us, I don’t know, baking a cookie. I’ve been to Iran, we have cookies, I swear. Just once, I want the media to be like, “Okay, we’re going to go to Mohammed in Iran” and then a guy would appear like “Hello, I’m Mohammed… and I’m just baking a cookie.””—Maz Jobrani