Iranwire – A Kurdish political prisoner was returned to her cell hours after giving birth on Monday and without the chance to see her family, it has emerged.
Saada Khedirzadeh, 32, from Piranshahr in West Azerbaijan, was arrested last October and held in a security detention center for 25 days before being transferred to Urmia Central Prison.
The charges against her remain unknown, but she recently told the human rights website Hengaw that she was being “held hostage on trumped-up charges” and had been “threatened with a forced confession”.
Khedirzadeh became pregnant shortly before she was arrested. She also suffers from kidney, heart, and lumbar disc diseases. She has received no specialist medical or hospital care throughout her time in prison.
In May she went on hunger strike for 11 days to protest against the ongoing uncertainty. Despite her failing health and the clear risk to mother and baby, a court in Mahabad refused to grant her medical furlough or a leave of absence.
Sources close to the case told Hengaw that Khedirzadeh had given birth at around 5am on Monday, two weeks late and by caesarean section. She was initially handcuffed and shackled to the hospital bed until staff were persuaded to give her back freedom of movement.
Judicial authorities had previously agreed that Khedirzadeh could stay in hospital until both her and the baby’s health had stabilized. But hours later, without informing her family or her lawyer, security agents took her back to prison.
Amnesty International has previously intervened in Saada Khedirzadeh’s case, saying it constitutes arbitrary detention. There are 40 female prisoners to a room on the women’s ward of Urmia Prison, who due to recently-reimposed restrictions are being kept indoors for 22 hours a day.