Tag: Zeinab Jalalian

Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab Jalalian was arrested in March 2008 in Kermanshah at the age of 25 for her social and political activities with the political wing of the Party for Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).
Zeinab Jalalian was held in solitary confinement for eight months without access to a lawyer. She has said that, during this period, intelligence officials tortured her including through flogging the soles of her feet, punching her in the stomach, hitting her head against a wall, and threatening her with rape.
Zeinab Jalalian was first sentenced to death in early 2009 which was later commuted to life sentence on the charge of “enmity to God” and “membership in Kurdish parties.”
Branch One of the Revolutionary Court in Kermanshah Province claimed that she had “taken up arms against the state” despite the absence of any evidence linking her to the armed activities of PJAK. Noting her “alleged membership in the political wing of PJAK” and her movement between Iran and Iraq, the court reasoned that “she may have been indeed involved in terrorist operations but is refraining from telling the truth.”
In March 2010, authorities transferred Jalalian from Kermanshah Prison to Ward 209 of Evin Prison. Several sources reported that time that Zeynab Jalalian had been under pressure from the authorities to make videotaped “confessions”.
Iranian authorities subjected Zeinab Jalalian to extensive torture since her arrest: she was kept in solitary confinement, brutally beaten while blindfolded, threatened with rape, hit on the soles of her feet, and thrown so violently against a wall that she suffered a brain hemorrhage near her eyes. Denied proper medical treatment, Zeinab is slowly going blind because of that injury, sustained almost a decade ago.
In April 2016, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Iran to release Zeinab Jalalian immediately as she had been detained only for peacefully exercising her rights to freedoms of expression and association through “her activities as a social and political activist for the rights of Kurdish women” and “her involvement in political activism… with the non-militant wing of the PJAK”. The Working Group stated that she had been denied the right to a fair trial and that her treatment violated the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The refusal of authorities to provide prisoners with medical care constitutes torture if such deprivation is intentional and inflicts “severe pain or suffering” for such purposes as punishment, coercion or intimidation, obtaining a “confession”, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind.

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