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Heather Idoni with Sister DeeDee ByrneJim Hale/LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — A jailed pro-lifer who was held in prolonged solitary confinement last fall suffered a stroke while awaiting sentencing in May. 

LifeSiteNews was notified today that Heather Idoni, a defendant in the Washington, D.C. FACE (Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances) Act trials, was rushed to the hospital this week after suffering a stroke while being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Virginia. She is reportedly stabilized and will be taken back into custody to await sentencing on May 17.  

Idoni and eight other pro-lifers have been charged by the Department of Justice with violating the pro-abortion FACE Act and “conspiracy against rights” for peaceful civil disobedience in a traditional pro-life rescue at a late term-abortion facility in Washington, D.C., in October 2020. 

READ: Pro-lifers worldwide urged to write to judge who will sentence FACE Act prisoners  

Idoni has told LifeSiteNews that while detained at the Alexandria Detention Center, where she was held in custody until being transferred to another jail in December, she was subjected to 22 days of solitary confinement. In an exclusive interview, she said that she received this punishment for sharing food with fellow prisoners. Idoni alleged that she was allowed to walk outside her cell only for two hours in the middle of the night each day and that the lights of her cell were continually kept on. Idoni has been in prison since she was convicted last autumn.   

WATCH: BREAKING | Biden DOJ Accused of Brutal Treatment of Jailed Pro-Lifer — Prolonged Solitary, Shackles 

Calvin Zastro, a friend of Idoni and co-defendant in a Michigan FACE Act trial, told LifeSiteNews that U.S. marshals paraded Idoni in full shackles into federal court as if the mother of five and adoptive mother of 10 were a dangerous criminal to the shock of those present, including the judge. 

Idoni faces over 50 years of incarceration in federal prison and over $1 million in fines for taking part in several peaceful pro-life rescues in Washington, D.C., Michigan, and Tennessee. Should Idoni receive maximum penalties in these cases, in which previous counts can be compounded to heighten subsequent sentences, she will have been sentenced to the longest prison term in the history of the U.S. civil disobedience movement for human rights.  

READ: Not enough Republicans say the truth: Abortion is an abomination because it kills babies 

The U.N. document on international rules for the humane treatment of prisoners, titled United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) prohibits solitary confinement “in excess of 15 consecutive days” (Rule 44), deeming it “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The Nelson Mandela Rules (Rule 43) also forbid the “(p)lacement of a prisoner in a dark or constantly lit cell.”   

Idoni’s lawyer, Robert Dunn, told LifeSiteNews that although the jail may be entitled to its own rules, “they should conform” to the international standards set forth in the Mandela Rules.  

Meanwhile, according to the International Justice Resource Center, international case law holds that humiliating a prisoner, including detainment in leg irons and handcuffs, can qualify as torture or inhumane treatment, and a violation of dignity.    

LifeSiteNews’ extensive coverage of the D.C. FACE Act trials can be found here.


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