Every day news reports from around the country are heard about physical and mental damage inflicted on political activists, civil activists and journalists who are former & current political prisoners. The worse cases can be seen in the lesser known prisoners.
Despite all the new information coming out about prisoner’s tortures, the Judicial and prison authorities have not shown any reaction.
These officials ignore these reports, while they continue to propagate religious riotousness and moral values.
While all these new troublesome reports of terrible treatment of political prisoners continue to come out, many remain silent. They have not revealed details of their tortures, and it’s effects on them, for fear of more pressure on them and the fear of being re-arrested.
The newest such banned case, is about education university student, Ashkan Zahabian recently released from prison. Ashkan is suffering from the effects of the pressure and torture he received in prison and going on hunger strike in prison.
This member of the General Council of Daftar-e-Tahkime Vahdat (Student’s Association), was released from prison on September 21, 2011. He was released after two months of illegal detention and solitary confinement in Shahid Kachoui detention center in the city of Sari (N.IR); and about four months imprisonment among hard core criminals in Mati Kala prison in the city of Babol (N.IR).
Ashkan is now suffering from various health issues that, according to physicians, is the direct result of the tortures he suffered in prison.
Due to repeated and long interrogation sessions, and the inhumane treatment he received in prison, and a long stay in solitary confinement, he now suffers from stuttering.
Ashkan did not suffer from stuttering prior to his last arrest on May 2, 2011. Forty days after his release from prison, his stuttering still continues.
Ashkan continues to be under treatment by neurologist and speech therapist for his stuttering problem that he acquired in less than six month in prison.
In his last days in prison, and since release, Ashkan has also been suffering from severe pain in his liver. Doctors have said that due to unsanitary prison conditions, due to his hunger strike, and due to lack of vaccinations prior to imprisonment, Ashkan now suffers from Hepatitis type A and gastronomical problems.
Ashkan is currently under treatment by specialists for the Hepatitis type A that he acquired in prison.
He also is also suffering from a skin condition that the doctors say he acquired due to unsanitary prison conditions.
Ashkan Zahabian, member of the General Council of Daftar-e-Tahkime Vahdat (Student’s Association) and member of the Education Rights committee, was summoned and arrested by Intelligence Ministry’s Headquarters in Mazandaran province (N.IR) on May 2, 2011. He was then transferred to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention center in the city of Sari.
He was incarcerated in solitary confinement, under heavy physical and psychological pressure for two months. After the completion of his interrogations he was transferred to Mati Kala prison in Sari.
After serving more than half of his illegal six months sentence, he launched a hunger strike to protest his illegal detention and imprisonment among hard core criminals in Sari prison.
On the second day of his hunger strike, his heath deteriorated. Instead of providing him with medical help, he was put in solitary confinement where his health condition became even worse and he fell unconscious.
During his hunger strike, his father told Kaleme, “My son is in a dangerous situation and his life is in danger. Just imagine yourself among sixty dangerous death row prisoners. His cell mates said that they were wondering who is this young man? Later, they said they found out that he is a political prisoner.
I am very worried for my son, his situation is dire. I wished that the media would pay more attention and publicize his case.”
Ashkan’s mother also told Kaleme that her son was only guilty of supporting Mir Housein Mousavi and Karroubi, she said, “They asked him, “Why did you go to Ayatollah Sanei and Vahid Khorasani’s home?”.
You tell me, is this a crime? These gentlemen were considered to be good people until not long ago. How come they have all of a sudden become so bad that visiting them is a crime?”
Ashkan, a Karoubi presidential campaign activist, has been arrested three times so far. He was arrested the first time during student protests at Mazandaran university on June 16, 2009. His arrest was violent, he was beaten up severely and while he was unconscious, he was arrested and taken away by the Intelligence Ministry’s agents.
He was not allowed to see his lawyer prior to and during the trial, nor was he allowed a defense. He was sentenced in absentia by the Revolutionary Court in Babol and was given the illegal sentence of six months in prison.
He was not informed of his trial date, and was not given the opportunity to defend himself in court.
Ashkan was arrested for the second time and sent to prison on November 2, 2009, on the charge of anti-national security activities for establishing the Islamic Society of Northern Provinces.
In 2008, when he was a member of Central Council of the Islamic Society of Ferdowsi University and the Medical School in Mashhad, he was expelled and ordered to transfer to Mazandaran university.
After two terms in Mazandaran university, and after having passed 120 credits in total, Ashkan was expelled from the university.
Ashkan was arrested for the third time on May 2, 2011 for the crime of meeting with Grand Ayatollahs in Qom.