Take Action: Demand Medical Care for Kurdish Prisoner In Iran

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Amnesty International is encouraging people to take action on behalf of Zeynab Jalalian, a Kurdish prisoner who was sentenced to death by Kermanshah Revolutionary Court, a verdict that was later changed to to life in prison

”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.”

Background information

Zeynab Jalalian is a Kurdish woman in the beginning of her thirties who was arrested in May 2008 in Kermanshah for her alleged membership of an illegal Kurdish opposition party within Iran and charged with “enmity against God”.

Around January 2009, the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Iran sentenced Zeynab Jalalian to death in a trial that lasted only a few minutes. She was not allowed to communicate with her lawyer during the trial. The Supreme Court confirmed her death sentence on November 26th, 2009.

In March 2010, Zeynab was moved from the prison in Kermanshah to an unknown location that according to Amnesty International was likely to have been a detention center under the control of the Ministry of Intelligence. Jalalian was later tranferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. Recent reports about Zeynab claim she is currently kept imprisoned at the Kermanshah Central Prison, also known as the Diesel-Abad Prison.

In December 2011, Zeynab’s death sentence was changed to life imprisonment.

The beating and torture inflicted on her by prison authorities during her years in prison has caused severely deteriorated internal bleeding, infection and bowel problems. Blows to her head during interrogation reportedly caused her impaired vision; it has since worsened.

Amnesty International encourages anyone to send letters demanding that Zeynab Jalalian is given proper and sufficient medical care. We at Alliance for Kurdish Rights have put together a letter that our readers can use freely to take action on behalf of Zeynab Jalalian.

Your Excellency,

I am writing to you to express my concerns regarding Kurdish prisoner Zeynab Jalalian who according to reports is losing her sight due to blows to her head during interrogation yet is denied proper medical care and treatment.

I am urging you to give Zeynab Jalalian immediate access to the medical care that she is in need of. I am calling on you to ensure that she is humanely treated and is not subjected to any more torture or other ill treatment.  I am also urging you to allow her regular visits from her family.

I am calling on you to review her case at a fair and just trial. According to reports, her first trial only lasted a few minutes and she was immediately sentenced to death, which was later commuted to a life sentence. She has been denied contact with her lawyer, which is a clear violation of Principles 17 and 18 of the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (United Nations). Zeynab Jalalian has according to sources also been subjected to torture and denial of medical treatment, a violation prohibited by Article 7 of the Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the Islamic Republic of Iran ratified on 24 June 1975.

I hope that you will give positive consideration to reconsider the case of Zeynab Jalalian.

Sincerely,

(Your name)

Send your letter to

Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street- End of Shahid
KeshvarDoust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

OR

Send an e-mail to info_leader@leader.ir

In the subject line write: Allow medical care for Zeynab Jalalian

You can also reach out on twitter by attaching the link to this article in a tweet directed at @khamenei_ir

AND

Send your letter to

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Hassan Rouhani
The Presidency
Pasteur Street, Pasteur Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

OR

Send an e-mail to media@rouhani.ir

In the subject line write: Allow medical care for Zeynab Jalalian

You can also reach out on twitter by attaching the link to this article in a tweet directed at @HassanRouhani (English) and @Rouhani_ir (Persian)

AND

Send your letter to

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office
Number 4, 2 Azizi Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

(Subject line: FAO Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani)

As suggested by Amnesty International, we also encourage you to send the letter to diplomatic representatives appointed by your country.