Iran: Urgent Alert: Zeynab Jalalian in Danger of Execution!

Change for Equality & International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran

Change for Equality reports that Zeynab Jalalian, whose death sentence for “Enmity against God” was confirmed by Iran’s Supreme Court in November 2009, is now at risk of imminent execution. The exact date and time of the execution has not been released, but her sentence has been submitted for implementation and may take place in a matter of hours or days. This news comes from her attorney, whose efforts to represent Jalalian were rejected by the courts.

Jalalian, a member of the Kurdish minority, is from Maku, a town in the northwest of Iran. She was sentenced to death in January 2009 by the Kermanshah Revolutionary Court. Before that, she had spent eight months in a Ministry of Intelligence detention facility, during which her family had no information concerning her fate. She is reported not to have been granted access to a lawyer during her trial, which she said lasted only a few minutes. Zeynab Jalalian’s death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court on November 26, 2009. In early March 2010, Jalalian was moved from Kermanshah Prison to an unknown location, possibly a detention facility of the Ministry of Intelligence. After several weeks, in late March 2010, she was transferred to Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. Her case has been submitted to officials who are now awaiting final authorization to carry out her execution.

WLP joins Change for Equality in calling for the Iranian government to halt the execution of Zeynab Jalalian. Please write to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urging immediate action:

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Ms. Navanethem Pillay
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

General inquiries:
Tel: +41-22-917-92-20
Fax: +41-22-917-9008 or +1-212-963-4097

Civil Society Unit:
Tel: +41-22-917-9656

June 28, 2010

Female Political Prisoner at Risk of Imminent Execution

Call on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to Urge Suspension of Executions


Zeynab Jalalian

(28 June 2010) The Iranian Judiciary should immediately suspend all execution sentences of political prisoners and initiate a thorough and independent review of these cases, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said today.

Kurdish political prisoner Zeynab Jalalian, 27, faces imminent execution, as her case has reached the final implementation stage. In addition to Jalalian, at least fifteen other Kurdish political prisoners are on the death row.

“We are appealing to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to intervene in this case, and to do all in her power to halt Zeynab’s execution,” said Hadi Ghaemi, the Campaign’s spokesperson.

“We are calling upon the Iranian authorities to bring to a halt what appears to be the systematic extermination of Kurdish political prisoners in Iran,” he said.

The office of the High Commissioner is one of the only international actors engaged with Iranian government officials over the situation of human rights. The Campaign believes that the High Commissioner’s intervention with regard to death sentences against political prisoners is essential in urging the Iranian Judiciary to halt these unfair sentences and be held accountable.

Four Kurdish political prisoners, including teacher and social worker Farzad Kamangar, were executed on 9 May along with one other man. At least 15 other Kurdish political prisoners are on death row in Iran.

Jalalian, accused of connections with Kurdish opposition groups, was sentenced to death for Moharebeh, or “enmity against God,” in January 2009.  Iran’s Supreme Court approved the sentence in November of that year.  According to information received by the Campaign, Jalalian’s prosecution did not produce  any evidence of her engaging in armed activity against the state, which is the legal basis for the charge of Moharebeh under Iranian law.

Khalil Bahramian and Mohammad Sharif, two prominent human rights lawyers, have attempted to represent Jalalian, but the authorities have prevented them from taking up the case.

Jalalian is currently held in Ward 209 of Evin prison in Tehran, which is managed by the Ministry of Intelligence. She was originally held in Kermanshah prison, in Western Iran. The Campaign has learned that in March 2010, Jalalian was removed from Kermanshah prison by unknown agents without any legal justification. The Campaign is seriously concerned that during that period she may have been subjected to sexual abuse.

“The entire case is so full of irregularities that the authorities are obligated  immediately to investigate the circumstances of her detention and trial. The life of a young women hangs in the balance;  her execution will be interpreted as another state-sanctioned murder in cold blood,” Ghaemi said.

The other 15 Kurdish political prisoners on death row are: Habibollah Latifi, Shirkoo Moarefi, Hussein Khazri, Rostam Arkia, Mostafa Salimi, Anvar Rostami, Rashid Akhkandi, Mohammad Amin Agooshi, Ahmad Pooladkhani, Seyed Sami Husseini, Seyed Jamal Mohammadi, Hasan Talei, Iraj Mohammadi, Mohammad Amin Abdollahi and Ghader Mohammadzadeh.

During the past year, lawyers representing political prisoners have been threatened and intimidated not to advocate on behalf of their clients. It appears the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and Judiciary attempt to prevent any public disclosure of information about such prisoners, in order to carry out the death sentences in secret and evade any accountability.