Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tortured Iranian activist finds asylum in U.S.

An article in Sunday’s New York Times provides a window into the harrowing experiences of prominent Iranian dissident Ahmad Batebi.

Batebi arrived in the U.S. in June, ending a chapter in his life during which he endured nearly eight years in Iranian prison. During his detention, he was subjugated to repeated episodes of torture and months of solitary confinement. According to the article, Batebi’s “jailers thrashed him with a metal cable, beat his testicles and kicked in his teeth…They held his face down in a pool of excrement. They tied his arms behind his back and hung him from the ceiling.”

Batebi was initially arrested at 20 for his involvement in the large-scale student protests of 1999 – his role indelibly captured on an Economist magazine cover featuring hum holding the bloody T-shirt of a fellow demonstrator. After gaining medical leave in March of this year due to a stroke and several seizures, he began his escape. With the help of volunteers from the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, he made his way to the Erbil, Iraq offices of the U.N. refugee agency, where his placement in the U.S. was arranged.

For the full article, click here.


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