Political Prisoner Soheila Hijab Goes on Hunger Strike

In an open letter, political prisoner Soheila Hijab announced that she has gone on hunger strike following being beaten by prison guards and the right to family visitation taken away. She is currently serving her sentence in the Correctional Center of Kermanshah.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Soheila Hijab went on hunger strike in the Correctional Center of Kermanshah.

In an open letter, Hijab mentioned the reasons for going on hunger strike. She said the fact that the prison officials did not allow her to go on furlough and receive medical care made her go on strike, “I have no choice but to go on hunger strike once again,” she wrote.

According to an informed source close to Ms. Hijab, on Monday, March 28, prison guards beat her and stopped her from visiting her family while they were waiting for her in the visiting room.

Hijab was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019, and subsequently released from Evin Prison in Tehran on a bail of 3 billion tomans on March 14, 2020.

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to 18 years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime”, “illegal assembly”, “incitement of public opinions to riot” and “organizing unlawful political groups”.

On May 23, 2020, the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested and transferred Ms. Hijab to Gharchak Prison in Varamin City to serve her sentence. She was then transferred to Sanandaj Prison and then, on January 7, to the Correctional Center of Kermanshah City.

Political Prisoner Soheila Hijab Hospitalized for COVID-19

On February 24, imprisoned political prisoner Soheila Hijab was hospitalized outside of prison due to her critical health condition.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hijab, who is imprisoned in the women’s ward of the Correctional Center of Kermanshah City was dispatched to a hospital due to her critical health condition.

An informed source told HRANA that she fainted in a cell and her fellow inmates carried her to prison healthcare. Later, her fellow inmates were told that she has been hospitalized in a hospital outside the prison. The lack of info about her latest condition has increased her family’s concerns.

Recently, she has contracted COVID-19 along with 13 other inmates in her ward. Despite the requirement for treatment, prison healthcare had been closed due to absence of physicians.

Hijab was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019, and then released from Evin Prison in Tehran on a bail of 3 billion tomans on March 14, 2020.

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to 18 years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime”, “illegal assembly”, “incitement of public opinions to riot” and “organizing unlawful political groups”.

On May 23, 2020, the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested and transferred her to Gharchak Prison in Varamin City to serve her sentence. She was then transferred to Sanandaj Prison and then, on January 7, to the Correctional Center of Kermanshah City.

Soheila Hijab Beaten and Threatened Following Protest Against Poor Quality Prison Food

Since January 31, inmates of the women’s ward in the Correctional Center of Kermanshah have refused to get their meals in protest against the poor quality of the prison food. During the protest, the head of the prison guards beat political prisoner Soheila Hijab and threatened to open a new legal case against her and send her to an exile prison. Other protesting prisoners have been threatened with denial of visits and phone calls.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, an informed source stated that “on the first day, Soheila Hijab brought a piece of burned food to the head of the prison and asked her if he [could] eat it. He responded that they are running low on budget and therefore the food is what it is. When Soheila Hijab was returning to her ward, she saw the decorations for celebrating Fajr decade (an annual ten-day celebration for the triumph of the 1979 revolution). She protested why they do not use the costs of this celebration for improving food quality. Following a verbal quarrel, in response, the Head of Prison Guards Leila Hosseini-Nia beat her hard in the chest and hit her with a mirror.”

According to this source, prison officials have tried to accuse her of provoking a riot in prison. They have threatened to deny other prisoners visitations and phone calls unless they corroborated this and signed reports as witnesses.

Once before, in October 2021, Hijab was beaten in Qarchak Prison while on hunger strike.

Hijab was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019, and then released from Evin Prison in Tehran on a bail of 3 billion tomans on March 14, 2020.

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court sentenced her to 18 years in prison on charges of “propaganda against the regime”, “illegal assembly”, “incitement of public opinions to riot” and “organizing unlawful political groups”.

On May 23, 2020, the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested and transferred her to Gharchak Prison in Varamin City to serve her sentence. She was then transferred to Sanandaj Prison and then, on January 7, to the Correctional Center of Kermanshah City.

Soheila Hijab Beaten in Garchak Prison While on Hunger Strike

Several inmates convicted of violent crimes recently beat political prisoner Soheila Hijab while she was on a hunger strike in Gharchak Prison in Varamin.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Hijab had been on a hunger strike since September 19 in protest of the increasing pressure on political prisoners and the intrusion of interrogators and other Judicial officers into court processing. Following promises from authorities, she ended her hunger strike on October 3.

“One of the shift officers on purpose opened the door of section 3 where inmates convicted for robbery are held,” an informed source told HRANA. “Several inmates of this section encroached into the section where she was located and took her to their section. They tore her winding-sheet which she was wearing as a sign of protest and forced her to eat in order to broke her strike. Once she resisted, they beat and took her back to her own section by dragged her on the floor.”

Mrs Hijab was arrested by security forces on June 1, 2019, and then released from Evin Prison in Tehran on a bail of 3 billion tomans on March 14, 2020.

Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court convicted her to 18 years imprisonment on charges of “propaganda against the regime, illegal assembly, incitement of public opinions to riot and organizing unlawful political groups”.

This long imprisonment stands at odds with Article 134 of Iran’s penal code whereupon the severest enforceable punishment is 5 years.

On May 23, 2020, the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards arrested and transferred her to Gharchak Prison in Varamin city to serve out her sentence.

In December 2020, the revolutionary court held a new session for new indictments such as ” propaganda against the regime” and “incitement of public opinions”. Her phone calls while in detention were published online and presented in court as evidence for the above-mentioned charges. Mrs Hijab has been once arrested in Shiraz and released by granting pardon after five-month imprisonment.