Torture of Saeed Hajarian Threatening His Life
Disabled Reformist Severely Abused in Attempt to Force False Confession
(27 July 2009) The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran appealed to authorities in Iran to halt the torture of Saeed Hajarian, a prominent reformist journalist and former presidential advisor who has been detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since 15 June, and to release him immediately. The Campaign also advocated for urgent action by members of the international community to try to save Hajarian’s life as well as hundreds of other prisoners in incommunicado detention.
“Detainees in Iran are dying on account of torture and ill-treatment, and considering Hajarian’s brutal torture, fragile condition and lack of needed medical care, he may die unless the torture stops,” said Aaron Rhodes, spokesperson for the Campaign.
“We are appealing to the prison and intelligence authorities to avert this tragedy, and we ask the international community to help,” he said.
Zeynab Hajarian, a student in Pennsylvania, USA, told the Campaign that he is being daily interrogated under direct sunlight, in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Centigrade (104 degrees F), then doused with ice water, causing severe heart palpitations. Hajarian’s health is extremely fragile, and he requires a number of medications as well as regular medical treatment, following being shot in a 2000 assassination attempt that left him confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak because of spinal cord injuries. But while he has been denied his needed medications, he is being forced to take what his family believes are psychotropic drugs to weaken his mental state.
The wife of Saeed Hajarian was able to visit him on 25 July and noted a yellow complexion resembling jaundice.
The authorities have made an oblique admission that Hajarian is being tortured, telling his family that he will be released “when our project is completed.”
News media have reported on the deaths of two detainees in recent days. The body of Mohsen Ruholamini, the son of a supporter of unsuccessful presidential candidate Mohsen Rezai, has been returned to his family reportedly bearing marks of torture and ill-treatment. Ruholamini, 25, was detained on 9 July. Amin Javadifar, a student also detained on 9 July, has also reportedly died in detention.