Iran – Kurdish prisoner is denied medical attention

Jun 20, 2018
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By Iran Probe Staff

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Many political activist in Iran are spending their time in jail only because they do not agree with the government. Zeynab Jalalian, is one of them. She is a Kurdish woman, who is been in jail for more than ten years. She has, recently, sent out an open letter to let the people outside know about her grave situation. Jalalian starts her letter as, “This insincere regime is lying. They have never taken me to any doctor, but they have formed a sham medical record for me. They publish fake documents in their media clamming, “we have taken Zeinab Jalalian to doctor”. This is a sheer lie”.

She continues in her letter, “I have spent eleven years in jail. Despite all my diseases I have never asked this regime for medical attention.

First I got eye diseases, then it was my kidneys, my lungs and hypertension. Prison conditions caused white bumps on my tongue and finally I have tooth decay. These diseases cause a lot of pain”.

Thirty six years old Zeynab Jalalian was detained in 2007 for her membership in the Kurdish group Pezhak. She was later charged with “enmity with God”!!, and was sentenced to death. Intelligence officials in Iranian regime put pressure on her to make her appear on a TV interview and deny her beliefs to evade the death penalty, but she refused. Finally in 2001 the verdict against turned into life imprisonment.

The human rights organization “Amnesty International;” brought up her case. In an appeal for urgent action Amnesty wrote, “Critically ill Iranian Kurdish prisoner Zeynab Jalalian is being denied access to urgently required dental treatment outside Khoy prison, West Azerbaijan Province, where she is serving a life sentence following a grossly unfair trial. The medical staff at the prison have requested her transfer to a dental clinic outside the prison to receive treatment for a severe dental infection, which she has had for three months. Despite this, the authorities have denied the request, citing the “security” nature of her case as justification”.

Statement by Amnesty International also explains, “In April 2016, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called on Iran to release Zeynab 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”.

The organization has called for an “Urgent Acton” to release Zeynab Jalalian.

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