Kurdish woman political prisoner Zeynab Jalalian, who has entered the 15th year of her imprisonment in Iran, had previously published an open letter to the public announcing that she had been denied access to medical care.

On 10 November 2021, Jalalian was transferred from the Juvenile Detention Centre of Kermanshah to Yazd Central Prison and has been denied the right to receive visits by her family ever since.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) has been informed that in the past few weeks the political prisoner contracted Covid-19 for the second time and is still denied access to medical services.

She has been suffering from various diseases due to her long imprisonment and difficult prison conditions. She has also had asthma after the first time she contracted Covid-19 in Qarchak prison.

On the occasion of 8 March, International Women’s Day, and the 15th year of Jalalian’s imprisonment, the KHRN is republishing a letter read out loud by the Kurdish political prisoner herself, the text of which was previously published by the KHRN in 2018:

“Greetings to those of you who fight for the right,

I am writing this letter to those who value and strive for the rights of others.

I have been in the prisons of the Islamic Republic [of Iran] for eleven years, and in spite of all my illnesses, I have not requested medical treatment from this regime.

At first, I started having trouble with my eyes and then my kidneys and my lungs were infected. I also suffer from high blood pressure and oral thrush. Eventually, my teeth decayed and I had to endure a lot of pain. Even though I have been asking to see a dentist for three months, the prison authorities have not taken any action. As a Political Prisoner, I am deprived of all my rights. I have always tried to cope with my pain, just like a mother who calms down her crying baby with her lullabies. Because I knew very well that if I asked for treatment, I would not get any response just like now.

This system is a hypocrite lying regime. I have never been allowed to see a doctor but the authorities have made a medical case for me and published fake documents in the media mentioning that I, Zeynab Jalalian, have been allowed to see a doctor. This is a pure lie. This system is inhumane. Worst of all, the authorities have used pictures of me taken in 2008 to mislead human rights organisations and public opinion.

Wasn’t torturing and keeping me in an individual cell for all these years and depriving me of the right to family visits and telephone calls enough?

They put forward dozens of terms and conditions for my most insignificant requests. Like an executioner who cuts off my head and asks me with a gentle smile to get up and walk. How brutal is the method these executioners have used against me?

Is one condemned to die or rot in prison due to disagreeing with these executioners? This dark logic is the denial of nature. So what happens to all the different colours and variations in nature? Should one die for the sin of thinking differently from you blood-thirsty executioners?

O, executioners… Do you hear my voice for freedom behind bars? Let me ease your mind; I have not fought with my body to bemoan that my body is in prison. A free person fights with their thoughts and ideas, not with their body, and fortunately you executioners cannot restrain the thoughts of any freedom-seeker.

For me, even dying and suffering in the way of freedom is pleasant. In fact, you are digging your own graves, and all your efforts have been in vain and doomed to fail.

No one and nothing is strong enough to stop me from achieving my goals. I am stronger than all and I will continue my way.

Zeynab Jalalian
Khoy prison
June 2018