A Kurdish woman prisoner named Saada Khedirzadeh attempted to commit suicide on 18 August by hanging herself due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding her case and pressure of the security agencies on the women’s ward of Orumiyeh Central Prison.
Khedirzadeh and her baby were transferred to the prison infirmary. Her physical and mental condition was reported to be unwell.
The prisoner reportedly gave a pill to her newborn child before committing suicide, but this claim has not yet been confirmed by the sources of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).
On 22 June, she was returned to Orumiyeh prison from the hospital before her treatment was completed after she gave birth by caesarean section.
The hospital medical staff reacted to the prison officers when they tied Khedirzadeh’s hands and feet to the hospital bed at the instruction of prison authorities.
In May, the civilian went on a hunger strike for 11 days to protest against the continuation of her uncertain situation in prison.
She had ended her hunger strike due to the promise of the prison authorities to release her on bail, but so far, the Mahabad court has refused her temporary release for unknown reasons.
Khedirzadeh suffers from kidney, heart, and lumbar disc diseases simultaneously.
Security forces arrested Khedirzadeh in Piranshahr, West Azerbaijan province, on 14 October 2021. She was transferred to a security detention centre in Orumiyeh.
After 12 days of interrogation, she was transferred to Orumiyeh Central Prison. She is currently being held in the women’s ward of the prison.
Amnesty International issued a statement stating that Khedirzadeh had not been allowed access to a lawyer since her arrest.
Amnesty said: “Her detention is contrary to the standards of a fair trial and is considered arbitrary under international law because she has been detained for a long time without knowing the reasons for her detention and has been denied access to a lawyer.”
The women’s ward of Orumiyeh Central Prison consists of four separate rooms with 36 beds. At least 40 prisoners are currently being held in each room.
Due to the recently imposed restrictions, female prisoners are kept in these rooms for about 22 hours a day, which have a small area and do not have air conditioning.
If you are in Iran and thinking about suicide, please call one of the following numbers before taking action: Social Emergency: 123, Urban Emergency: 115, Counsellor: 1480, Tehran Psychiatric Emergency: 44508200.