The warden of Qarchak Prison, Soghra Khodadadi, has deprived political prisoner Zahra Safaei from treatment at a civic hospital for her heart problems.
The Qarchak Prison authorities have not allowed Mrs. Safaei to receive medical treatment despite the doctor’s instructions and her family’s repeated inquiries.
Zahra Safaei has been in dire health conditions in Qarchak Prison since February. Nevertheless, her treatment has met many hindrances.
Political prisoner Zahra Safaei suffered a heart attack in late August. Eight days after her heart attack, she was sent to a civic hospital to undergo surgery and angiography. In the hospital, her hands and feet were chained to the bed. Therefore, she refused to stay in the hospital and was sent to prison without treatment.
After her heart surgery, she needs to be regularly visited by a doctor, something of which she has been deprived. She is also suffering from a bad toothache. Her family has agreed to pay all the expenses. Still, the prison authorities do not allow her to visit a dentist outside the hospital.
Soghra Khodadadi and other prison authorities justify the two-month hindrances by saying they plan to transfer her to the Greater Tehran’s Penitentiary, also known as Fashafouyeh, another notorious jail in the vicinity of Tehran.
Who is Soghra Khodadadi?
The United States Treasury Department, on December 7, 2021, imposed sanctions on several institutions and individuals in Iran in connection with serious human rights abuse and repressive acts targeting innocent civilians, political opponents, and peaceful protestors.
The US Treasury Department press release said, “Soghra Khodadadi, the current director of Qarchak Women’s Prison, was responsible for ordering and directly participating in a violent attack on December 13, 2020, against prisoners of conscience in Ward 8 along with at least 20 other guards. According to publicly available reports, prison guards beat these female prisoners of conscience with batons and stun guns. Khodadadi ordered this attack in retaliation for the prisoners exercising their right to freedom of expression.
“Khodadadi is being listed by the Department of State and designated by OFAC pursuant to Section 106 of CAATSA. Qarchak Prison was publicly identified as responsible for certain gross violations of human rights under CAATSA in 2019 and designated in 2020.”
The life of Zahra Safaei is in danger in Qarchak Prison
It is believed that Soghra Khodadadi is intent to kill Zahra Safaei by denying her medical treatment.
Security forces arrested Zahra Safaei in Tehran on February 24, 2020. They also arrested her daughter, Parastoo Mo’ini. They were subsequently transferred to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center (Ward 209 of Evin Prison). Zahra Safaei and Parastoo Mo’ini were transferred to Qarchak Prison in early March 2020.
Zahra Safaei has been repeatedly attacked by inmates hired by Qarchak Prison authorities. Her life is in grave danger as this political prisoner is being detained among prisoners convicted of violent crimes violating the principle of separation of different categories of crimes.
Political prisoner Zahra Safaei suffered a heart stroke on October 27, 2020, after being harassed and intimidated by prison authorities.
On November 2, 2020, Mrs. Safaei and Golrokh Iraee were threatened to death by an ordinary inmate. The woman, hired and provoked by the warden of Qarchak Prison, swore at, attacked, and threatened to kill them. Prisoners are tightly restricted in their movements within the wards of Qarchak Prison. The entry of the assailant woman to the ward where a number of political prisoners are being held indicates a premeditated plan.
Mrs. Safaei was also hit hard on the head by batons during a violent raid on December 13, 2020, when 20 prison guards broke into ward 8 and brutalized all political prisoners.