Zeinab Jalalian still refuses to take medication

Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian has been refusing to take medication since February 2017 in order to protest the inhumane practices in prison.

Kurdistan Human Rights Network reported that Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian, who is imprisoned in the town of Khoy in East Kurdistan’s Urmia state, has been refusing to take her medication since February 2017, in protest to the authorities’ negligence of her need for medical care in the prison while spreading false news about her medical treatment. She has been also deprived of the right to visit her family since September.

“Zeinab has been suffering from health problems such as pterygium (a pinkish, triangular tissue growth on the cornea of the eye) in addition to septic boils on her tongue over the past few years. These health problems have gotten worse over the time due to her medicinal strike and lack of medical care in the prison. Her family are extremely concerned about her health,” an informed source told Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).

“Unfortunately, in addition to the lack of medical care, she has been under more pressure by the prison authorities who have deprived her of the right to have a weekly visit with her family. There has also been one case of physical conflict between Jalalian and one of the prison guards called Ms. Karimi following Jalalian’s reaction towards the afore-mentioned guard’s disrespectful behaviour towards her some time ago“, the source continued.

Amir Salar Davoodi, Jalalian’s lawyer, has expressed his concern earlier this month about the health of his client by publishing an open letter to the Attorney General.

“Zeinab Jalalian has gone on medicinal strike for an unlimited period of time in protest to the deceitful actions of Khoy prison authorities including recording completely inaccurate weekly and monthly health reports in her health check-book as well as providing a false report regarding her access to frequent regular medical examinations for the international and human rights institutions”, her lawyer stated in this letter.

Jalalian’s lawyer concluded his open letter by addressing the chief prosecutor Hazrat Ayatollah Montazeri and expressed his serious concern about the health condition of Zeinab Jalalian. “Khoy prison authorities, Khoy security and judicial authorities, authorities of West Azerbaijan and state’s authorities should ensure the mental and physical health of my client. My client’s medicinal strike will continue until the authorities who have recorded inaccurate reports in the afore-mentioned health check-book are identified and prosecuted”, he concluded.

Zeinab Jalalian, born in 1982, is a Kurdish activist from a small village known as Deim Qeshlaq around Maku in Eastern Azerbaijan province in Iran. She was arrested in February 2007 by the Intelligence Service Forces of Kermanshah on charges of membership in PJAK (Kurdistan Free Life Party). She was interrogated by the Kermanshah’s Intelligence while being seriously tortured both mentally and physically. Then she was transferred to Kermanshah Youth Rehabilitation Centre but she was repeatedly taken back to the Security Detention Centre for further interrogations.

On 3rd December 2008, Jalalian was sentenced to death on accounts of “armed actions against Islamic Republic of Iran and membership in PJAK in addition to possessing and carrying illegal weapons while engaging in acts of propaganda warfare against the Islamic Republic of Iran by Judge Moradi (at the Revolutionary Court of Kermanshah (branch 1)”. This sentence was later affirmed on April 2nd, 2009 by Judge Ali Mohammad Roshani, at the Kermanshah Court of Appeals (branch 4) despite the contest statements prepared by her lawyer.

The Supreme Court confirmed her death sentence on 26 November 2009. She was transferred from Kermanshah Prison to an unknown location before being taken to Evin Prison in Tehran in early March 2010. She was held in ward 209 of Evin Prison for five months but then transferred to Kermanshah Dizelabad Prison again since she refused to accept the authorities’ condition for emancipation from death sentence. She was offered to be emancipated from death sentence if she would do a TV interview. She was at imminent risk of execution after the sentence was confirmed. However, her death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in November 2011.

In November 2014, she was transferred to Khoy prison which is three hours away from her family’s residence. Such distance makes visitations for her relatives, specifically her elderly parents, very challenging. During the past 10 years of her imprisonment, she has been denied the right to temporary compassionate leave as well as medical treatment outside the prison for her illnesses caused by torture and bad prison conditions.