Abolfazal Tabarzadi has been in a psychiatric hospital for ten days.
According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Tabarzadi suffers from severe paranoia and depression and prison officials could no longer control him and were forced to transfer him to hospital.
Abolfazl Tabarzadi, 24 years old, is a civil engineering student and is the nephew of imprisoned political activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi*. He was arrested on December 19, 2010 at his father’s home.
This student activist was sentenced to 15 months in prison on charges of “acting against national security” and “contact with foreign media”. His sentence was later reduced to 9 months in prison by the Appeals Court.
Tabarzadi began serving his sentence in Karoon Prison in Ahvaz on October 18, 2011.
A source close to the family told ICHRI that, “It seems Abolfazl is suffering from severe paranoia. He constantly thinks he should be responding to interrogators, thinks the agents are after him and is very worried for his family.
In prison, he wakes up screaming in the middle of the night and won’t stop until prison authorities contact his family to go to prison. He was moved to a hospital on authorization from the Prosecutor’s office.”
Regarding what led to the current mental status of this student, the source said, “When a student who has never thought about prison or such things is sent to a place like Karoon prison in Ahvaz which is even worse than the medieval prisons, well, he would go crazy.
In this prison, there is no separation of inmates according to the type of crime. Murderers, thieves and addicts and all kind of criminals sleep and live next to each other.
Abolfazl has a very sensitive soul and apparently could not take it anymore. He was under heavy pressure and interrogations last year. They took him to court in handcuffs and shackled, without a lawyer, and then they sent him to prison. Well, what else is needed to happen to drive someone crazy?”
On the current status of Abolfazl Tabarzadi, this source close to the family said, “According to the doctors orders he must remain hospitalized for a month and then continue treatment in a calm environment for six months. But unfortunately, he is currently under very tight security in the hospital.”
*Foot note: Abolfazl Tabarzadi’s uncle is Heshmatollah Tabarzadi, a political activist and the Secretary General of the Iran Democratic Front. He was arrested on December 28, 2009 and sent to Evin prison Ward 209 in solitary confinement. He later was transferred to Rejaei Shahr prison.
Heshmatollah Tabarzadi was tried and sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of collusion and conspiracy with the intent to act against the national security.
Tabarzadi has participated in several hunger strikes along with other political prisoners protesting various issues.
Heshmatollah Tabarzadi is in poor health and suffers from a heart condition which he did not have prior to being imprisoned. His repeated request for a medical furlough has been denied by the prosecution office.