A Kurdish human rights activist serving a 3.5-year jail sentence in Iran has provided a rare glimpse into what he says are harsh conditions inside the country’s detention facilities.
Reza Sharifi Boukani was arrested in 2010 after publicly supporting the pro-democracy “Green Movement.” He was later sentenced on charges that include spreading “propaganda” against the government and acts against national security.
In a recent interview from jail with VOA’s Persian News Network, Boukani said he initially had no legal representation and that Iranian authorities tried to pressure him into making false statements.
“I was not allowed to have a defense attorney and was under pressure to appear on TV and spread lies against Kurdish parties and the freedom-seeking people of Iran,” said Boukani.
Boukani said he was also physically abused.
“I was later transferred into the Rajaie-Shahr prison,” he said. “I had been beaten several times during the interrogation and had been tortured by electric shocks when I was detained at the Revolutionary Guards’ detention center.”