Iranian Professor Mojtaba Atarodi, who was kept in US jails for more than a year on unfounded allegations, disclosed the inhumane conditions of the US prisons, saying that he was arrested and imprisoned even before the US law enforcement or judicial bodies officially pressed charges against him.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Atarodi said that upon his arrival in the US and after stepping off the plane in Los Angeles he was detained and interrogated for more than two hours at the airport. He said he was next imprisoned in a US jail where he was mistreated and forced to take off all his clothes before he went unconscious, explaining that the US law enforcement and judicial bodies did not even mention his charges when taking him to prison. The Iranian professor underlined that the prison conditions were more torturous than he had imagined. Atarodi, who suffers from severe cardiac disease, said that a reason for visiting the US was undergoing a medical checkup by a cardiologist. He said two more
reasons for his visit were meeting his former teacher, a well-known microchip professor, and attending an electrical technology conference in the US. Atarodi said that he was charged with violating US export laws by purchasing lab equipment for Iran's Sharif University, where he works and teaches. The 54-year-old scientist is a microchip expert and associate professor at the prestigious Sharif University of Technology. He is the author or coauthor of dozens of scientific papers dealing with microchip technology. The US court requested $480,000 to change Atarodi's arrest order to house arrest. Last year, an Iranian human rights NGO in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked for the world body's probe into the trial and the usurped rights of the Iranian nationals imprisoned in the US and Europe. "We urge the UN to accelerate the judicial procedures in the cases of the Iranian nationals who are imprisoned in the West through its special attention, inspection and supervision and
require the westerners to respect their (the Iranian inmates') rights," Yousef Pirzadeh, Head of the 'Campaign for Defending Iranian Expatriates' Rights', said in his letter which was submitted to Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran in August. Pirzadeh, a businessman, himself was jailed in Germany for 18 months under fabricated accusations of buying military equipment for the Islamic Republic. He has borne different physical and mental sufferings during his imprisonment which started in 2006. The Iranian government has on many occasions deplored the US and European authorities for their mistreatment of innocent Iranian prisoners held in these countries' jails. More than 60 Iranian nationals are being held in US prisons, 11 of them on political grounds and without any proof or evidence.