Human-rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh is one of at least 11 political prisoners to have been released from custody in Iran. Observers say this is a sign of a more moderate path taken by new President Hassan Rouhani.
Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi was responsible for overseeing hundreds of death sentences as head of Iran's justice ministry. Many in Germany were outraged by his stay in the country and filed complaints against him.
The European Parliament has awarded its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Venezuela's opposition-dominated National Assembly, as well as to political prisoners in the country.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called on authorities and protesters in Iran to exercise restraint. Iranian police have said an officer was shot and killed as nationwide protests broke out again.
Iranian lawmakers have amended the country's strict laws on narcotics, making it harder to put people to death for drug-related crimes. The law could affect hundreds of inmates on death row in the conservative country.
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