Zeynab Jalalian

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Zeynab Jalalian (Persian: زينب جلاليان‎; born March 10, 1982 in Dim Qeshlaq, Maku County) is a Kurdish Iranian who has been convicted a mohareb and sentenced to death by an Islamic Revolutionary Court for allegedly being a member of the Kurdish militant group PJAK, which she denies. Jalalian's sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.[1]
Human rights organizations have condemned Jalalian's verdict, torture, conditions of incarceration and the inattention to her medical care.[2]


When Jalalian was ten years old, she ran away from home because her parents would not allow her to go to school.[3][4]


Jalalian was arrested in March 2008 in the Kurdish city of Kermanshah and transferred to the detention center of the Intelligence Ministry.[5] Her trial before the Court of First Instance took place in December 2008; after conducting a summary trial, the Court found Jalalian guilty and sentenced her to death, on charges of being a member of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), a banned Kurdish group: based on her alleged membership of that Kurdistan political party, she was accused of fighting God (mohareb) and given the death penalty.[6][7][8] (The Revolution court in Kermanshah conducted a brief trial, without due diligence and proper legal representation, lasting only a few minutes. Jalalian was ill, due to prison conditions and torture. She did not have any lawyer to defend her. The Court told her: “You are a God's enemy and you have to be hanged very soon”.)

Jalalian has denied the charges.[7] Her death sentence was confirmed by the Iranian Supreme Court in November 2009.[9]

On June 28, 2010, her family stated that in her last phone call, "which was a month ago, Zeynab has mentioned that she is held in Evin Prison”. Since that time, her family or her lawyers had not been able to receive any further information, the authorities responding that her file had been lost.[10]

In an interview with the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, published on July 1, 2010, Iranian lawyer Khalil Bahramian talks about him being refused to visit Ms Jalalian in prison.[11]

In 2010, after being incarcerated into section 209 of the Evin prison for five months, and after a meeting with Tehran Public Prosecutor, Jalalian was transferred back to Kermanshah prison. The Supreme Court of Iran has reduced Jalalian's sentence to life imprisonment.[7] In December 2011, Ms. Jalalian contacted her lawyer to inform him that, according to prison authorities, her sentence had been reduced to life imprisonment.[6] In Kermanshah prison, Zeynab Jalalian was verbally informed by judicial authorities that her death sentence had been commuted to imprisonment.[9]

Denied treatment[edit]

In April 2016, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN Human Rights Working Group on Arbitrary Detention) issued an official request to the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Zeinab Jalalian immediately, as the deprivation of her liberty is arbitrary, being in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Working Group also considers that an adequate remedy would be to accord Jalalian an enforceable right to compensation in accordance the ICCPR.[12]
Indeed, Jalalian was being subjected to torture by the Iranian authorities and was denied access to treatments and specialized medical care despite her deteriorating health in Khoy prison, West Azerbaijan Province. She has several medical conditions, including a heart problem and a severe dental infection.[1]

Hunger Strike[edit]

Zeinab Jalalian, along with nine prisoners of ordinary offences, went on hunger strike in protest to being deprived of weekly visits and basic prison facilities on August 4, 2018. The strike ended the day after with no result.[13]


In early June 2020, Ali Jalalian, the father of Zeynab Jalalian, told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network she was being held in quarantine since April 29, 2020 at Gharchak Women's Prison in Varamin and has been diagnosed with COVID-19.[14] In the Gharchak prison, health and food standards are not observed. The Ministry of Intelligence has not allowed her to be taken to a hospital outside the prison.[15]
In late July 2020, Human Rights in Iran indicated that Jalalian had been transferred to Kerman prison.[16] She is in poor health.[17]
On September 24 2020, she was relocated to Dizel Abad Prison in Kermanshah.
On November 10 2020, Jalalian informed her family in a 2-minute phone call that she had been transferred to Yazd Prison and that she had been beaten and verbally abused along the way.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Document". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  2. ^ United for Iran: Zeynab Jalalian
  3. ^ "Zeinab Jalalian". Center for Human Rights in Iran. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  4. ^ "Urgent Action Update: Iranian Kurdish Woman Denied Medical Care (Iran: UA 151.14)". Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  5. ^ "Zeynab Jalaliyan: Kurdish female activist sentenced to death". 2009-03-16. Archived from the original on 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  6. ^ a b Opinion No. 1/2016 concerning Zeinab Jalalian (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  7. ^ a b c Iranian Judicial Officials Suggest Kurdish Prisoner Will Get Temporary Leave if She Agrees to Televised "Confession", International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (February 9, 2016).
  8. ^ "Report On Torture And Illegal Imprisonment Of Kurdish Political Prisoner Zeinab Jalalian". The Rojava Report. 2015-08-31. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  9. ^ a b "rahana.org - Informationen zum Thema rahana". www.rahana.org. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  10. ^ "Zeynab Jalalian's Brother: "We haven't heard from her for a month."". RAHANA. June 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "I Ask Ayatollah Khamenei To Intervene In Zeinab Jalalian's Case, Says Lawyer". International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. July 1, 2010.
  12. ^ Human Rights Council: Opinion No. 1/2016 concerning Zeinab Jalalian (Islamic Republic of Iran)
  13. ^ main (2016-03-09). "Zeinab Jalalian in Critical Health Condition in Khoy Prison". Hrana - News Agency. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  14. ^ 'Concerns Over the Fate of Zeynab Jalalian in the Quarantine of Qarchak Prison' 03.06.2020
  15. ^ "Kurdish Political Prisoner Contracts Coronavirus in Iran's Qarchak Prison". Iran HRM. 2020-06-07. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  16. ^ تداوم حبس زینب جلالیان, زندانی سیاسی در سلول انفرادی زندان کرمان (Continuation of the imprisonment of Zeinab Jalalian, a political prisoner in solitary confinement in Kerman Prison) 30/08/2020
  17. ^ Exclusive: Zeinab Jalalian in bad condition in prison - Iran International 01/08/2020
  18. ^ "Four Times Transfer and Exile in Six Months; Zeynab Jalalian Transferred to Yazd Prison". Kurdistan human rights network. 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-11-12.