Zeinab Jalalian forced to make a confession and express remorse to gain access to medical care

Jailed in Iran for 16 years, Kurdish female prisoner Zeynab Jalalian was tortured again and forced to make a confession on camera in return for the provision of medical care.

Kurdish woman Zeynab Jalalian, who is imprisoned in Iran, was tortured repeatedly by officials from the Ministry of Intelligence seeking to force her to confess on camera in exchange for the provision of medical care. This was reported by the Kurdish news agency Kurdpa, citing a number of informed sources close to the political prisoners. Various human rights groups in East Kurdistan are also involved in the case.

Jalalian was forced to "confess" her wrongdoings in a programme on Iranian state television, express remorse for her previous political activities and agree to cooperate with the authorities of the mullahs' regime. Only then would the Ministry of Intelligence be prepared to grant her the necessary medical treatment, suggested officials to the 41-year-old woman during a recent interrogation, during which she was handcuffed and shackled. The Ministry of Intelligence is also making the transfer to a prison closer to Jalalian's family home in Maku in eastern Kurdistan and an end to the repression against her and her family dependent on her "confession".

Kurdpa learnt that Jalalian rejected all the demands of the Iranian regime's interrogators. "I have nothing to regret," the political prisoner is reported to have said despite psychological pressure and physical abuse. This is not the first time that the regime has subjected access to appropriate medical care and the transfer of Jalalian to a prison close to her home to the condition of a "confession" on camera.

Zeynab Jalalian, who was born in Maku in 1982, was arrested in Kermanshah in summer 2008 and sentenced to death in January 2009 by a local revolutionary court for "enmity to God". The conviction is linked to Jalalian's membership of the "Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan" (Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê - PJAK). She had previously spent eight months in pre-trial detention in a Ministry of Intelligence facility. During her trial, which lasted only a few minutes, she had no access to a lawyer. The death sentence against Zeynab Jalalian was commuted to life imprisonment in November 2011. She is currently the only female prisoner in Iran to be given this sentence. She is currently in a prison in Yazd - around 1400 kilometres away from where her family lives.

Zeynab Jalalian is seriously ill. In 2020, she was transferred four times to different prisons across the country within a few months by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. During this odyssey, she contracted Covid-19 and asthma and still suffers from shortness of breath. It is therefore likely that she will suffer permanent lung damage. She also suffered wrist and ankle injuries during the transports and was physically abused by Iranian security forces. As her injuries were left untreated, she now suffers from long-term injuries. In addition, she suffers from other serious health problems, including heart, intestinal and kidney diseases, paralysis, tooth and jaw inflammation, because of the prison conditions and mistreatment in prison. As a result of repeated blows to the head, her eyesight is severely impaired. So far, Jalalian has only received brief medical care outside prison once, after testing positive for COVID-19 in the summer of 2020. At the time, she had temporarily gone on a hunger strike in order to secure her return to the detention centre in Khoy - unsuccessfully.