Dissidents warn human rights in Iran worse under Rouhani - POLITICO
An Iranian dissident who fled his country after being imprisoned in Tehran for five years said in an interview Saturday with POLITICO that conditions for prisoners had worsened and human rights violations continued after the regime’s President Hassan Rouhani came to power.
Farzad Madadzadeh, a 29-year-old opposition activist, was arrested for political activities in February 2009 under the regime’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He said that after Rouhani came to power in 2013, more political prisoners had been jailed, conditions in prison worsened and the number of executions rose dramatically as the new regime sought to stave off the risk of a popular uprising fueled by increased access to outside information.
His interview with POLITICO comes three months after Western powers agreed to lift economic sanctions against Tehran progressively in exchange for its promise to limit nuclear activities. However, sanctions for human rights violations and support of terrorism remain in place, and evidence that Iran’s record on either front is worsening could impede a full normalization of ties with the West, and raise criticism of the nuclear deal.
“When Rouhani was elected all furloughs for jailed former officials of the regime were canceled,” said Madadzadeh, a member of the PMOI opposition group active inside Iran and among exiles in many countries. “Access to medical treatment outside of prison was called off completely. More people like teachers were arrested and imprisoned merely for demanding access to their welfare rights.”
Daily Mail: Electrocution, rape and drug-induced confessions in Iran prison
Blindfolded with his hands in cuffs, Farzad Madadzadeh would be beaten for up to 16 hours a day in an Iranian prison, the MailOnline wrote on Saturday. “He was electrocuted and punched by three guards who threw him around like a 'football', before returning him to a tiny solitary confinement cell.
Each night for five years he would fall asleep wondering if death would come for him in the morning, or whether yet another day of torture and questioning was in store. His only crime? Speaking out against Iran's regime.”
'You are subjected to all kinds of torture - psychological and physical,' he told MailOnline. 'Constant interrogation, constant beating around the clock.
'Any moment you wait for something to happen - a new torture session or a death sentence.
'You are totally isolated from the rest of the world. The only voice you hear is the voice of death.'
He claims guards would bring drugs including heroin into the prison to encourage addiction, making it easier for interrogators to 'crack' prisoners suffering from withdrawal symptoms