Tehran – On Sunday, May 23, 2020, Soheila Hejab, Human rights lawyer was brutally attacked and arrested. Hejab, 30, who had been summoned to the Islamic Court of Appeals was brutally assaulted by agents of the Sarollah Brigade, which is the intelligence unit of the Revolutionary Guards.
Based on reports agents dragged her by the hair to the asphalt, they severely beat her, before taking her to the notorious Qarchak Prison, located 35 kilometers southeast of Tehran. Among the assailants was her former Sarollah interrogator who has repeatedly threatened to have her killed by the dangerous criminal inmates. The group of agents punched, slapped and kicked Ms. Soheila Hejab in the head, face, and sides.
In a voice recording sent from Qarchak prison Ms. Hejab said: “…as soon as I left the court, I was arrested by the Sarollah in Tehran without any legal reason and explanation. They beat me and dragged me by my hair in the street and punched and kicked me in the head, face and side. They opened new case against me which has nothing to do with my confirmed case. This is my interrogator’s request. He has repeatedly threatened me to death through inmates who have been convicted of violent crimes in Qarchak Prison.” She continued: “Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, I will be taken to court. They will definitely take me to a Revolutionary Guard safe house for long solitary confinement and interrogation,” Ms. Hejab said.
She has pleaded for help from the media in her audio message.
Hejab, who is originally from the western Iranian city of Kermanshah, was first arrested in January 2018 in Shiraz on charges of “assembly, collusion and propaganda against the regime.”
She was then rearrested on June 6, 2019 and taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison where she said she was so badly beaten by prison guards that she had to be taken to hospital. However, they returned her to prison before any treatment.
On January 28, 2020, she was once again badly beaten and brutalized by prison guards at Evin and was taken to Taleghani Hospital but again, returned without any medical examinations.
Ms. Hejab was temporarily released from Evin Prison on March 14 on a heavy bail of three billion tomans ($240,000 US). She was sentenced to 18 years in prison on March 14, by the branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by notorious judge Abolghasem Moghiseh. She was charged with “propaganda against the state”, “assembly and collusion”, “disrupting public order to create chaos”, “forming a group to defend women’s rights”, and, “demanding a referendum and changing the constitution”.
The sentence has been exactly upheld by the appeals court in Tehran Province.
Following the November protests in Iran, Ms. Soheila Hejab sent an open letter from Evin Prison on January 13, 2020, about the brutal suppression of protesters by regime security forces.
Addressing the mullahs’ regime, she said, “The pen that does not write about injustice must be broken! The tyrannical regime must be overthrown!”