Imprisoned Student Activist Transferred To Psychiatric Ward
A source close to the family of Abolfazl Tabarzadi, 24, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the imprisoned student was transferred from Karoon Prison to the psychiatric ward of a hospital in Ahvaz. According to the source, Tabarzadi suffers from severe paranoia and depression and prison authorities were forced to transfer him to a hospital because they were no longer able to control him inside the prison.
Abolfazl Tabarzadi, a civil engineering student and human rights activist, is the nephew of imprisoned political activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi. Security forces arrested the former on 19 December 2010 at his father’s house. In an earlier interview with the Campaign, Abolfazl Tabarzadi’s father asked, “Why should Abolfazl be in prison? What sin has he committed? He was just a human rights activist, he was just trying to get furlough and visitation rights and such for his uncle….”
A lower Ahvaz court sentenced the younger Tabarzadi to 15 months in prison on charges of “acting against national security” and “contact with foreign media.” His sentence was reduced to nine months at the appeals level. The 24-year-old human rights activist began serving his sentence in Karoon Prison in Ahvaz on 18 October 2011.
“It seems Abolfazl is suffering from severe paranoia,” a source close to the family told the Campaign. “He constantly thinks he should be responding to interrogators, that agents are after him, and he is worried about his family’s health. Apparently he would wake up screaming in the middle of the night, until prison authorities contacted his family, asking them to go to the prison. The Prosecutor’s Office signed his hospital transfer authorization form, and he was sent to hospital,” the source said.
“The doctors have ordered him to be hospitalized for a month and then to be put under treatment for six months in a tranquil environment. But, unfortunately, he is currently under tight security in the hospital,” the source continued.
“When they send a university student who has never thought about prison or such things to a facility like Karoon Prison in Ahvaz, which is even worse than medieval prisons, well, he would go crazy. There is no separation of inmates by type of crime and all types of prisoners sleep and live next to each other,” the source said.
“Abolfazl has a very sensitive soul; I guess he couldn’t take it anymore. Last year he was under heavy interrogation. They sent him to court in handcuffs and footcuffs without a lawyer, and then to prison. Wouldn’t these things drive anyone crazy?” the source added.