Iranian authorities have released an American-born graduate student on bail after holding her in prison for nearly a month, an Amnesty International spokeswoman said Tuesday, Reuters reported.
Graduate student Esha Momeni was arrested last month in Iran and jailed after an alleged traffic violation.
Esha Momeni, 28, had been working on a project on the women's movement in Iran when she was arrested October 15 for an alleged traffic violation, according to California State University-Northridge and Change For Equality, an Iranian women's movement.
She had been held in solitary confinement in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, Change For Equality said.
"We're really happy she's been released on bail," Elise Auerbach of Amnesty International said Tuesday. She said she learned of Momeni's release Monday through Amnesty's researchers in London, England, and from Momeni's family and friends.
Melissa Wall, a journalism professor at the university and an academic adviser to Momeni, confirmed the young woman's release in an e-mail.
Wall said they were waiting to see what will "happen next in terms of charges or conditions or sentencing." The university will hold a rally and vigil Wednesday calling for Momeni's return to California, she said.
Auerbach, the Iran specialist for Amnesty International USA, said she did not know the exact bail amount, only that Momeni's parents had handed over the deed to their home in Iran in return for their daughter's release.
"This is a real problem for her family because the state of their home is in doubt," Auerbach said, adding that if the Iranian government determines Momeni has violated the bail conditions, it can take her family's home.
Auerbach said Momeni has not been charged, "but there is some indication that they're planning on charging her."