Zeynab Jalalian, a Kurdish political prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment, was transferred to Yazd Prison, a reliable source told the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).
According to this source, Zeynab Jalalian made her family a two-minute phone call yesterday, November 10, that she had been transferred to Yazd Prison while being beaten, threatened and verbally abused along the way. On November 10, security agents informed Zeynab Jalalian in Kermanshah Prison that they intended to transfer her to Orumiyeh Central Prison following the issuance of a court order. However, during the transfer, Zeynab realized that she was being transferred to another city and she protested to the security agents who beat, insulted and threatened her.
The source added that on November 10 when this political prisoner was transferred from Kermanshah prison, her father (who lives in Mako, West Azerbaijan Province) received a text message that his daughter’s case had been sent to Branch 1 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd.
Zeynab Jalalian is being re-transferred despite her poor physical condition due to contracting Coronavirus and lack of medical care in prison. The political prisoner, who suffers from diseases due to his long imprisonment and harsh prison conditions, has also developed asthma after her recent illness in Qarchak prison.
Earlier, a source familiar with the case of Jalalian told the KHRN that “Jalalian was transferred to Kerman and Kermanshah prisons in handcuffs and leg-cuffs while being dragged to the ground by security officers. As a result, her wrist and leg have been severely injured and there are also signs of wounds and bruises on her face, hands and feet”.
KHRN was also informed that on October 23, when Zeynab Jalalian was transferred to Kermanshah Prison due to her deteriorating health, the authorities of Kermanshah Women’s Prison initially refused to hand over her but she was eventually handed over to the security agents following the intervention of Kermanshah Public and Revolutionary Court Prosecutor.
“This is the fourth time in the last six months that Zeynab Jalalian has been transferred to a different prison. In fact, it seems that she has been exiled without any exile order or any other legal reason in the last six months. Moreover, according to Article 234 of the Prisons Organization, the organization must make arrangements for convicts to serve their sentences at the nearest prison where the family resides while this has not been the case for Zeynab Jalalian.” Fatemeh Karimi, director of KHRN said.
During the thirteenth year of her imprisonment in Khoy Prison which is the closest prison to her family’s residence in Mako, Zeynab Jalalian was suddenly transferred to Qarchak Prison on Apr 29, 2020, without any warrant or legal reason. After 2 months, she contracted Covid 19 and also went on a hunger strike demanding her return to Khoy Prison but she transferred to Kerman Prison and held in solitary confinement for some time.
The Kurdish political prisoner was then taken from Kerman prison by security agents on Sept 22, 2020, and transferred to Kermanshah prison after two days when there was no information on her whereabouts.Expressing concern over the current security and health risks that threaten the life of this Kurdish political prisoner, KHRN director added that ”we are deeply concerned about the situation of Zeynab Jalalian and her repeated transfer in recent months that are clearly part of the plan of the security institutions to physically and mentally torture this political prisoner. We know that two security agents, introducing themselves as human rights lawyers, visited her in Qarchack Prison and advised her to cooperate with security agencies and conduct a forced television confession. But Zeynab Jalalian resisted their advice, so they are now putting pressure on her through these relocations and exile to Kerman and Yazd prison which is very far from her family’s city of residence.”
According to Fatemeh Karimi, all these illegal transfers take place while two of Zeynab Jalalian’s lawyers, Mr Amirsalar Davoodi and Mr Mohammad Sharif are in prison. Mr Sharif has been removed from the case for unknown reasons. There is virtually no lawyer to defend this political prisoner.
The director of KHRN calls on all human rights organizations to investigate the extrajudicial treatment of Zeynab Jalalian, and in particular her four transfers to various prisons in the last six months while being beaten, insulted and threatened. “No prisoner has ever been treated so harshly and we are calling for her release from the prison on the eve of her entry into the 15th year of imprisonment.”, she added.
Zeynab Jalalian, 38 years old from Maku, was arrested in summer 2008 in Kermanshah. After spending several months in solitary confinement and enduring severe physical and mental torture, she was sentenced to death by the Islamic Revolutionary Court on charges of “acting against national security” and “Moharebeh” through membership in the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK). Her death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in 2011 by the Court of Appeal and Zeynab was later transferred to Khoy Prison in West Azerbaijan Province. She has suffered from several illnesses during her imprisonment.
In 2016, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued an official request to the Islamic Republic of Iran to release Zeynab Jalalian immediately and take all necessary measures to compensate her without delay in accordance with the international regulations. In a statement issued by the International Working Group, Zeynab Jalalian’s deprivation of liberty was described as an arbitrary measure contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Iran is obliged to prosecute those officials responsible for violating the rights of the Kurdish political activist.