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Witness Statement: Reza Azad

95. Participating in the execution of his fellow prisoners had caused the old man to go insane. When he stayed with us in the cell of the insane he only spoke infrequently to me and a few others. He always seemed to be upset, and alone with his thoughts.

96. The story of another prisoner in the cell of the insane is fresh in my memory. One day, the guards dragged in a young, tall man, threw him in the corner like a limp doll and left. At first, it looked like there was nothing wrong with this young man. Later I realized that his eyes were unfocused and that he was reluctant to talk. The bottom of his left foot had a deep wound with no bandage. The wound was infected but he did not seem to be in pain.

97. Later I realized what the cause of the wound was. The young man had an aggravated behavioral pattern of scraping his left foot on the floor with such force that it caused injury. Any slight mental disturbance would trigger this behavior. He scraped his foot so frequently that the bottom of his foot was raw and torn. The guards in our cell never treated his wound.

98. Over the course of the next few days, the guards took the young man out of the cell periodically to give him pills. He acted like a robot and followed whatever instruction the guards gave him. After several times of this happening, we convinced the guards to give us the pills and let us administer the medicine to the boy ourselves. Once the guards gave us this control, we began lessening the dosage on our own initiative. We decreased the amount of medicine given to this boy because we did not know whether the pills were drugs meant to slowly kill him or drive him insane. After one or two weeks of lessening the pill dosage, the boy began to talk. He told us that the treatment he received from his torturers caused him to slip completely out of consciousness. When he regained consciousness he did not know where he was or what he had been forced to reveal about his loved one, including his fiancée.

99. Of course, we did not tell the guards that we decreased the boys’ medicinal dosage. We always told the guards that we gave him the proper dosage. Despite our reassurances, the guards often barged into the cell to take the boy outside and force pills down his throat. But slowly the boy started to heal. He began to talk and interact with people and stopped his aggravated behavior of abruptly getting up and dragging his foot on the ground.

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Tagged as:

Imprisonment, 1988 Prison Massacre, Torture, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment, Punishment, Free Association