Jalalian, who has been held in Khoi Prison in West Azerbaijan Province since 2008, is suffering from many medical problems, including an eye disease, kidney infection, lung infection, high blood pressure (hypertension), oral candidiasis (oral thrush), and severe damage to the teeth. She has been applying to see dentists and doctors, but the prison authorities have not acted on these requests.

In her letter, Jalalian wrote: “I’m writing this letter to those who value the rights of others and work for it… As a political prisoner, I don’t have any rights, therefore, I have always endured my pains. I [do] this because, if I apply for treatment, I would not receive any answers like [for] my teeth pain. This government is [a] hypocrite and a liar. They never took me to the doctor, but made a medical case for me and published their fake documents in their media mentioning my name, Zainab Jalalian, has gone to the doctor. This is a mere lie. Wasn’t torturing and keeping me in an individual cell for all these years and prohibiting any visits and telephone calls enough?”

As a social and political activist Jalalian worked to empower women by providing educational and social services in Iraq and Iran. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, before she was arrested, Jalalian visited a girls’ school in Kamiaran, Iran, to give a speech about women’s rights.

This mistreatment of Jalalian is disgusting, but it is something seen all too often under the Iranian Regime. They mistreat political prisoners in the most heinous of ways because they dared to question the rule of the mullahs and, in the Regime’s view, that is the worst crime that can be committed.

The Regime will not change their treatment of political prisoners and so the only legitimate option is for regime change, something that the people of Iran are desperate for and something that will be a key topic of discussion at the Free Iran Gathering in Paris on June 30.