The Kurdish political prisoner known as Zeynab Jalalian sentenced to life imprisonment congratulated all women on March 8th (International Women’s Day) while disclosing information on being tortured in the Kermanshah Intelligence Detention Centre.

This letter, a copy which was sent to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN), states:

I congratulate my beloved mother, women who look after their loved ones and all the women of the world on the occasion of March 8 from the bottom of my heart..

Women have always fought against dictatorial and anti-women regimes during the course of history and March 8 celebrates the memory of these women.

O’ oppressors! you should know by now that women could not be oppressed by way of massacre, torture and imprisonment. A woman is born free, no oppression can force her to give up her rights.

I, imprisoned by the oppressors of the Islamic Republic, am the symbol of such fact. They tore my clothes, blind-folded me, Chained my arms and legs to the bed and terribly tortured me. My feet were terribly swollen as a result of being flogged with cables. They tortured me so much that I felt numb, I lost control of my bodily functions and I wetted my pants.

Yes, it’s shameful and I do not know why I was tortured. I leave it to conscientious people to judge if I deserved such torture just because I just wish freedom and equality for all mankind. Who is the real guilty one here? Me or those who tortured me for the sake of their own benefit?

I am not healthy like ten years ago but prison has strengthened my mind. After being tortured heavily, the only thing I am left with is my belief and hope in the future.

I’m not exaggerating if I say that words cannot express my pains and suffering. I did not explain much about how I was tortured because I did not want to upset you on this day.

Sometimes I think about my place in this world and era. How can I witness my loved ones and countrymen being hanged and not say anything? How can my heart bear the pain of witnessing

War, hatred, riot, murder, killing and torture in everyday life, particularly when the oppressors justify their crimes. Daring and devoted women, express your pains and sufferings.. I do not wish death for anyone, even the oppressors, but let us fight together against the oppressors in order to free our motherland. We owe it to those women who lost their loved ones for the sake of freedom and equality.

I, Zeynab Jalalian, am a woman who has witnessed hundreds of crimes of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s government in the jail and witnessed slander, insult, torture and, worse of all, the execution of ten of my fellow prisoners. Is there any worse pain than witnessing such things? The oppressors have asked me repent. But how can I repent after witnessing so many acts of oppression and forget everything? Believe me, the more oppressors torture me, the more courageous and resilient I will be.

Women, Life, Freedom


Zeynab Jalalian

March 8, 2018

Khoy prison