IRAN: Kurdish rights defender Ms. Zainab Bayazidi released from prison

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Kurdish rights activist released from Iran prison stands with mother
Kurdish human rights activist Zainab Bayazidi stands with her mother holding flowers just after her release from the Iranian prison in Mahabad. Image: Female Equals Male

(WNN) Tehran, IRAN: The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran and Campaign for Equality announced today after receiving reliable news that Kurdish political prisoner Ms. Zainab Bayazidi was released from a detention center in the Azerbaijan Province in Maragheh on Tuesday November 20 after spending 1,622 days there. Ms Bayazidi is a member of the ‘Campaign for One Million Signatures to Change Discriminatory Laws in Iran‘, which is the original name for the Campaign for Equality.

As an act of resistance during her four and a half years of imprisonment Zainab stayed under incarceration as she refused to use her power to write a letter of request that would have given her a chance to leave prison. Instead Bayazidi insisted on not writing a letter often written as a consolation to prison officials and parole Court for their consideration.

Zainab has also been an active member of the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan, that works to bring cases of human rights abuse and discrimination to the public.

It was on July 14, 2008 that Change for Equality first announced that Bayazadi, as a human rights and women’s rights activist from the city of Mahabad, was arrested a few days earlier on Wednesday July 9, 2008.

Her arrest was originally confirmed at the time by her family through a telephone conversation Bayazadi made to them. According to her family on Saturday July 5, 2008 Bayazadi was summoned by telephone for an interrogation which lasted several hours. She was then told to return for interrogation again on Wednesday July 9, 2008. After three hours of interrogation, on the same day, she was arrested and was transferred to a Mahabad city detention center, managed by the Iran Ministry of Information and Security.

Released Iran prisoner Kurdish human rights activist Zainab Bayazidi
Just released Iran prisoner of conscience Zainab Bayazidi is a women’s rights activist who was arrested four years ago by order of Iran’s judiciary. During her stay in prison, a stay that has included hunger strikes, Bayazidi has continued to stand up for her convictions and dedication as a defender of human rights.

Bayazadi was summoned by the revolutionary court of Mahabad under charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic of Iran and membership in the Mothers for Reconciliation of the City of Mahabad.” The Mothers for Reconciliation is known locally as a group of Kurdish mothers who’s children have been killed during the Iran/Kurdish resistance movement. Zainab was also charged and sentenced for her “connection” with Kurdish political parties and activities.

Prior to her arrest in 2008, Zainab Bayazidi had been sentenced to 6 months’ with a suspended imprisonment for her activities with the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan.

On July 9, 2010 Bayazidi, along with other female prisoners, went on a hunger strike for 17 days in the Mahabad detention center to protest her arrest. Along with other women prisoners, Bayazidi also joined a 9 day hunger strike while she was in the Zanjan prison to protest alleged “inappropriate encounters” made against female prisoners by the Head Warden of the Zanjan prison.

“Kurdish human rights defenders, community activists and journalists face arbitrary arrest and prosecution. Some become prisoners of conscience – people imprisoned for the peaceful expression of their conscientiously held beliefs. Others suffer torture, grossly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts and the death penalty,” said Amnesty International in a comprehensive 2008 report.


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