Zeinab Jalalian, an Iranian Kurdish woman serving a life sentence since 2009, has been barred from meeting with her family and lawyers, and is currently denied medical care despite suffering worsening chronic health conditions in Iran’s Yazd prison.
Jalalian’s parents were prohibited from visiting her in mid-June, Iran Human Rights Monitor reported.
The Kurdish woman was arrested in 2007 and sentenced to death in 2009. The sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2011. She was accused of membership of the armed group Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK) without any evidence.
Jalalian developed eye, kidney and intestine problems behind bars and during her 15 years of incarceration, her health conditions have worsened. The doctor at the prison’s infirmary believes she should be hospitalised for urgent treatment, but Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has issued an order against the transfer.
The activist was pressurised into making a confession by the Iranian Intelligence Ministry by being denied healthcare, and was told she could get a temporary prison release visits if she provided a video confession in 2016.
In June 2020, Jalalian tested positive for COVID-19 and was only allowed a hospital visit after she started a hunger strike.
After recovery, Jalalian was relocated from Kermanshah Prison to her current Yazd Prison without an explanation, in the fourth transfer in six months. Yazd Prison is 1,400 km from her family home.
Jalalian has appealed her sentence, however, due to two of her lawyers being sentenced to prison, the appeal has not advanced since 2019.