Zeynab Jalalian, a member of Iran’s Kurdish minority, currently serving a life sentence in Kermanshah Prison, western Iran, is at risk of losing her eyesight and she is in urgent need of medical care.

Zeynab Jalalian has had eye problems for a number of years, possibly as a result of beatings she received during interrogations by the Iranian authorities. Her health situation has worsened and she may be losing her eyesight. On 8 April, she was transferred to the prison clinic in handcuffs and shackles to receive treatment for her eyes, but the prison authorities have repeatedly refused to allow her access to an eye specialist outside of Kermanshah Prison. It is not clear whether the prison clinic is able to provide Zeynab Jalalian with the medical care she requires.

Zeynab Jalalian was sentenced to death for “enmity against God” (moharebeh) in January 2009 by the Kermanshah Revolutionary Court for her alleged membership of Party For Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) , an armed Kurdish opposition group. Before that she had spent eight months in pre-trial detention in a Ministry of Intelligence detention facility, where she says she was tortured. She was not granted access to a lawyer during her trial, which she says lasted only a few minutes. Zeynab Jalalian death sentence was commuted and reduced to life imprisonment in late November 2011.

Zeynab Jalalian’s family have not been able to visit her for more than a year and they are only allowed to have two minute phone conversations with her once a week. Zeynab Jalalian formally requested prison leave in January 2014, but she has said that the Iranian authorities have asked her to do a forced televised “confession”, which may be a prerequisite for prison leave but she has refused to do so.

Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

 Calling on the Iranian authorities to ensure that Zeynab Jalalian is protected from torture and other ill-treatment; and is granted all necessary medical treatment she may require, including treatment at a medical facility outside the prison if required;

 Urging the authorities to allow her regular visits from her family;

 Urging that she is granted a re-trial that complies with international standards for fair trial and to disregard any evidence obtained under torture or other ill-treatment;



Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

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Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

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In June 2012 she had at least one medical procedure on one of her eyes in a private clinic outside of prison which her family paid for.

In July 2012, Zeynab Jalalian’s lawyer, Mohammad Sharif, stated that her client’s physical and mental health was in a “critical state” and that her medical condition required urgent medical care. Zeynab Jalalian had also suffered from bleeding in her bowls, which may have resulted from frequent hunger strikes; and her vision has been impaired, possibly as a result of blows to her head during interrogation. She was transferred to Dizel Abad Prison’s clinic on 11 April 2012 due to an infection of the bowels but Amnesty International understands that the prison clinic does not have sufficient medical facilities to fully treat Zeynab Jalalian’s conditions.

On 5 July 2010, Mohammad Sharif and Zeynab Jalalian’s brother met with the Tehran Prosecutor who agreed for her to be transferred to Kermanshah Central Prison as her trial and sentencing had taken place there. This transfer has made it easier for her family to visit her, although it still takes about 18 hours by bus for them to reach Kermanshah from their home.

Kurds, who are one of Iran’s many minority groups, live mainly in the west and north-west of the country, in the province of Kordestan and neighbouring provinces bordering Kurdish areas of Turkey and Iraq. They experience religious, economic and cultural discrimination. For many years, Kurdish organizations such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Marxist group, Komala, conducted armed struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Party for Free Life of Kurdistan (known by its Kurdish acronym PJAK), formed in 2004, says it aims to establish in Iran a “democratic system in which all citizens: Iranians, Kurds, Azarbaijanis, Baluch, Turkmans, Arabs and all other ethnic groups within the framework of the democratic system can govern themselves”. It has carried out armed attacks against Iranian security forces, but declared a unilateral ceasefire in 2009.

Name: Zeynab Jalalian

Gender m/f: f

UA: 151/14 Index: MDE 13/033/2014 Issue Date: 16 June 2014