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Jailed Kurdish Political Prisoner Refused Hospitalization For COVID-19

Zeynab Jalalian, a kurdish Iranian political activist serving a life sentence. FILE PHOTO.

Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN) on Sunday quoted Ali Jalalian as saying that by the order of the Intelligence Ministry, prison authorities are refusing to transfer his daughter Zeynab Jalalian to hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

Ms. Jalalian is currently held at the coronavirus quarantine of Qarchak Prison's clinic with several other coronavirus patients. Her family want her to be sent to a hospital urgently due to her worrying health condition.

Qarchak Women's Prison of Tehran is infamous for being overcrowded and for its highly unsanitary conditions. Female political prisoners are often sent there as punishment. Political prisoners are held alongside highly dangerous criminals at Qarchak.

The 38-year-old Zeynab Jalalian is the only female political prisoner serving a life sentence in Iran. She has been in prison since July 2007 when she was arrested in Kermanshah, without a day of temporary furlough as sometimes other prisoners receive.

Ms. Jalalian was sentenced to death in 2009 after a summary trial on charges of being a member of the Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), a banned group in the Islamic Republic, and taking up arms against God. Her sentence was later reduced to life in prison. She has always denied the charges.

International human rights organizations including Amnesty International have repeatedly expressed concern about Ms. Jalalian's health, deprivation from proper medical care even when she was in danger of losing her eyesight, torture, lack of access to a lawyer and other ill-treatments. She has several medical conditions including a heart problem, eyesight issues and sever dental infection.