KNK calls for the release of Zeynab Jalalian

The Women's Commission of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) calls for the release of Zeynab Jalalian from Iranian custody. The political prisoner is infected with COVID-19.

The Women's Commission of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) called for the release of political prisoner Zeynab Jalalian from Iranian custody. Her father Ali Jalalian informed the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) that the Kurdish activist, who has been imprisoned for 13 years, has been infected with COVID-19 and is denied medical treatment outside the prison.

In a statement published on Monday, the KNK Women's Commission pointed out that the Iranian regime has tightened the repressive screw to break the will of women fighting for freedom. This policy is explicitly directed against political prisoners who are currently acutely threatened by the coronavirus, the statement said.

The KNK Women's Commission called for attention from human rights and women's organisations. “No one should remain silent on the situation of political prisoners in Iran and in particular on the condition of Zeynab Jalalian. In order to protect the lives of these women, we demand their release", the KNK statement said.

Zeynab Jalalian, born in 1982, is a Kurdish activist from a small village called Deim Qeshlaq located around Maku in Eastern Azerbaijan province in Iran. She was arrested in February 2007 by the forces of Kermanshah Intelligence Bureau on charges of membership in PJAK (Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan).

She was interrogated at Intelligence Detention Centre in Kermanshah for a month while being seriously tortured both mentally and physically. She was then transferred to Kermanshah Youth Rehabilitation Centre. In 2016, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an official request to the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Zeinab Jalalian immediately and take all necessary measures to compensate her without delay in accordance with the international regulations. In a vote issued by the International Working Group, Zeinab Jalalian’s deprivation of liberty was described as arbitrary and contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Iran is obliged to prosecute those officials responsible for violating the rights of the Kurdish political activist.