The Kurdish political prisoner known as Zeynab Jalalian held in prison for the past 11 years has been on medicinal strike for more than a year in protest to the authorities’ negligence of her need for medical care in the prison while spreading false news about her medical treatment. As a result, her health condition is currently critical.

An informed source told Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) that Zeynab Jalalian has been unable to eat due to suffering from digestive discomfort for the past several days while continued hunger and medicinal strikes have also worsened her health.

According to the source, despite requests of her family member to end her medicinal strike during the past couple of months, Zeynab continues to insist on her strike.

The source added that due to being deprived of medical examinations in the prison for past few years, she has personally talked to a number of physicians in Tehran and they have advised her that she is most likely suffering from canker sores.

The source said that due to being in medicinal strike since January 2017, Zeynab’s eyes have gotten worse and she is unable to read.

According to reports, the women’s ward in Khoy Prison is appallingly unhygienic to the extent that the ward is full of lice and, despite the spamming of the personal belongings of prisoners, the authorities of the prison’s clinic have warned prison authorities about the onset of skin diseases.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed her concern about the health condition of this political prisoner and the lack of medical treatment in her last report in March..

“Zeynab Jalalian has gone on medicinal strike for an unlimited period of time in protest to the deceitful actions of Khoy prison authorities including recording completely inaccurate weekly and monthly health reports in her health check-book as well as providing a false report regarding her access to frequent regular medical examinations for the international and human rights institutions.”, her lawyer has stated in an open letter.

Jalalian’s lawyer has concluded his open letter by addressing the chief prosecutor Hazrat Ayatollah Montazeri and expressed his serious concern about the health condition of Zeynab Jalalian. “Khoy prison authorities, Khoy security & judicial authorities, authorities of West Azerbaijan and state’s authorities should ensure the mental and physical health of my client. My client’s medicinal strike will continue until the authorities who have recorded inaccurate reports in her health check-book are identified and prosecuted.”, he concluded.

Zeynab Jalalian, born in 1982. is a Kurdish activist from a small village known as Deim Qeshlaq around Maku in Eastern Azerbaijan province in Iran. She was arrested in February 2007 by the Intelligence Service Forces of Kermanshah on charges of membership in PJAK. She was interrogated by the Kermanshah’s Intelligence while being seriously tortured both mentally and physically. Then she was transferred to Kermanshah Youth Rehabilitation Centre but she was repeatedly taken back to the Security Detention Centre for further interrogations..

On 3rd December 2008, Jalalian was sentenced to death on accounts of “armed actions against Islamic Republic of Iran and membership in PJAK in addition to possessing and carrying illegal weapons while engaging in acts of propaganda warfare against the Islamic Republic of Iran by Judge Moradi (at the Revolutionary Court of Kermanshah (branch 1)”. This sentence was later affirmed on April 2nd, 2009 by Judge Ali Mohammad Roshani, at the Kermanshah Court of Appeals (branch 4) despite the contest statements prepared by her lawyer.

The Supreme Court confirmed her death sentence on 26 November 2009. She was transferred from Kermanshah Prison to an unknown location before being taken to Evin Prison in Tehran in early March 2010. She was held in ward 209 of Evin Prison for five months but then transferred to Kermanshah Dizelabad Prison again since she refused to accept the authorities’ condition for emancipation from death sentence. She was offered to be emancipated from death sentence if she would do a TV interview. She was at imminent risk of execution after the sentence was confirmed. However, her death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment in November 2011.

In November 2014, she was transferred to Khoy prison which is three hours away from her family’s residence. Such distance makes visitations for her relatives, specifically her elderly parents, very challenging. During the past 10 years of her imprisonment, she has been denied of the right to temporary compassionate leave as well as medical treatment outside the prison for her illnesses caused by torture and bad prison conditions.