Human rights activist Sepideh Qoliyan, who was on medical leave from a prison sentence, was seized in an assault on her sister’s home in Ahvaz by security forces and transferred to an unknown location. On October 11, Qoliyan’s brother Mehdi made public her arrest via Twitter, writing that around 30 agents had set upon their sister’s home, where Qoliyan was visiting, and taken her. The agents also confiscated the family’s mobile phones.

Qoliyan was arrested during the Haft Tappeh sugar mill workers’ strike in 2018 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. According to HRANA, she reported to prison in July 2020, and in August of this year was granted leave due to a COVID-19 infection. During her leave, Qoliyan exposed the degrading conditions women face in Bushehr Prison, where she had served most of her sentence to date.

Attorney Amir Raisian tweeted on October 14 that Qoliyan contacted her family after two days of silence and said that she had been taken from Ahvaz to Bushehr and then from Bushehr to block 209 of Tehran’s Evin Prison. The government appears to be building a new case against Qoliyan for her revelation of the conditions faced by incarcerated women in Bushehr.

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