Imporsoned lawyer Soheila Hijab has been on a hunger strike since yesterday in protest to her continued detention in Qarchak Prison and not being transferred to Evin Prison. She also called for an end to the pressure exerted on her family by the security forces.

Zeynab Jalalian, who was transferred from Khoy Prison to Qarchak Prison on May 10, has also announced that she will go on a hunger strike in the coming days if she is not being transferred to Khoy Prison. She was recently diagnosed with coronavirus and she is currently under medical treatment outside the prison.

The two Kurdish political prisoners are currently being held in the Quarantine Ward of Qarchak Prison.

Soheila Hijab, a lawyer from Kermanshah, was arrested by agents of the Islamic Republic Guard Corps (IRGC) Intelligence Department in June last year and later transferred to a safe house, which was later returned back to the women’s ward of Evin Prison. She was finally released on a 3 billion toman bail after 8 months. The lawyer was sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison on March 18, 2020, on charges of “propaganda against the state,” “gathering and collusion,” “disturbing public opinion with intent to cause unrest,” and “forming an illegal group.” According to the law of Aggregation of Crimes, 5 years of the sentences will be enforceable. She was arrested by security forces on June 23 after being summoned to Branch 36 of the Tehran Court of Appeals and transferred to Qarchak Prison.

Zaynab Jalalian, a political prisoner from Maku, has been in prison for 13 years and her death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in 2011. She has suffered from a number of illnesses during her imprisonment. Two weeks ago, she contracted coronavirus after being transferred to Qarchak Prison. During this time, she was transferred to a hospital outside the prison only once for tests and lung scans. However, despite being diagnosed with Coronavirus affecting her lungs and the advice of the specialist regarding the need for special care, she was returned back to prison. 

Reza Khandan, a Human Rights activist in Tehran, posted the news about transfer of Zeynab Jalalian to Qarchak Prison on his Facebook page. “Despite being infected with the coronavirus, her condition has not changed. Even when she was taken to the hospital for Coronavirus checks, her handcuffs were not opened during the examination. She has sent letters to many authorities but no one has paid any attention to her difficult circumstances.” He wrote. Moreover, Jalalian has stated that she would go on a hunger strike if she was not transferred from Qarchak Prison to another prison in the next few days despite her deteriorating physical health due to serving 13 years in prison.