Zainab Jalalian

Age: 27
Location: Reportedly moved to Evin Ward 209 on 27 June, in imminent danger of execution; Moved to Ministry of Intelligence detention center on March 5, previously held in Kermanshah Prison.
Date condemned: 26 November 2009
Charge: Moharebeh

We have assembled Contact information and sample letters to Iranian officials and to the UN Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding Zainab Jalalian's case. Please also sign the Petition to the United Nations regarding her case.

Zainab Jalalian was charged as Moharebeh due to her alleged membership in the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), a separatist organization that is illegal in Iran. Zainab's plea to say goodbye to her family was met with, "shut up" by the sentencing judge, and she was condemned to death by hanging. As Zainab was not permitted legal representation, the Islamic Republic violated her rights under Article 10 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also guarantees the right to legal counsel in Article 14(3)(b) and (d).

Zainab's death sentence is based on her supposed involvement in PKK. "Moharebeh" is a politically-motivated charge meaning, "armed war against God." The Islamic Republic uses this charge to condemn people for acting against the state, usually when there is no other remotely justifiable reason for their imprisonment. The Islamic Republic continually intimidates its oppressed Kurdish population by imprisoning, torturing, and executing them on false charges of threatening national security.

Nothing about Zainab's imprisonment, trial, and death sentence abide by international law. Both the UDHR and the ICCPR guarantee a fair trial, which Zainab was denied. She was not given a fair or impartial hearing, and denied the opportunity to examine witnesses against her or to have witnesses on her behalf. Zaiab's basic human dignity has been violated through these proceedings, and her execution is an abomination. Even if she was a member of PKK, the death sentence is a violation of Article 6(2) of the ICCPR: "In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes."

Human Rights Activists News Agency and Green Voice of Freedom reported on March 5 that Zainab had been transferred from her prison in Kermanshah to the Ministry of Intelligence detention center. In the past, this has often indicated that a prisoner is about to be executed.

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action Alert for Zainab Jalalian and Hossein Khezri, who are believed to be at risk of imminent execution. We have assembled a sample letter you can send to Iranian authorities regarding these two cases.

December 1 Updated information on Zainab's medical situation: reports state that she requires treatment for her eyes, but prison authorities are denying her this, saying it is not necessary because she is on death row.

November 21 Reports state that Zainab is being denied medical treatment in detention.

July 11 Zainab's lawyer, Dr. Mohammad Sharifi, announced that he is "optimistic" about an appeal, after meeting with the Tehran prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi. According to Dr. Sharifi's statement, Dolatabadi has agreed to move Zainab to Kermanshah prison, which will make it easier for her family to visit. Though this is good news, we know the regime has a history of lying or making small concessions to divert public attention.

July 9 United for Iran has designed a postcard to be sent to key officials in Iran, and Iranian consulates and embassies throughout the world on Zainab's behalf.

July 5 The World Organisation Against Torture called for an immediate halt to Zainab's execution and urged "the European Union, based on the Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on torture as well as on death penalty, to remind to the Islamic Republic of Iran of its international obligations in these fields."

June 30 Human Rights Watch has called for an immediate halt to the Islamic Republic's plan to execute Zainab and condemns her lack of access to a lawyer. From the source, "Khalil Bahramian, a lawyer who represented Farzad Kamangar, one of four Kurdish dissidents executed without warning in May, told the Persian-language website Roozonline that his efforts to represent Jalalian have been rebuffed by the government and that he is not certain where she is being held."

June 29 You can now send a letter on behalf of Zainab Jalalian to Iranian Embassies, the UN, and Iranian officials with one click on United For Iran's website.

June 28 Mission Free Iran has provided sample letters to send to both United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and Florian Westphal and Dorothea Krimitsas of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Activist @shariatmadari has created a video for Zeinab Jalalian. Bloggers can embed this video using code from his site.

United For Iran has created a Facebook profile badge for users to raise awareness about Zeinab.

We are asking everyone to write to the United Nations, the Iranian Judiciary and other influential figures. Zeinab's lawyer, Khalil Bahramian, has stated that United Nations intervention is the only chance to save his client's life.

June 26 Zainab Jalalian's sentence has been upheld and advanced to the enforcement section. She is in imminent danger of execution.

From the source:

"Following the confirmation of the death sentence of Zeinab Jalalian by appeals court and Supreme Court, the case was referred for the preparation of the execution...Zeinab Jalalian’s sentence was confirmed in the Appeals Court and was also confirmed by the Supreme Court, and has been referred for the preparation of the execution, within the past 48 hours, authorities are waiting for a special letter for carrying out the execution."

With thanks to MrZand for translation.