He was arrested by Iranian security services in 2009, who linked him to the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). Links to this group many times results in a death sentence. He says that it’s hard to describe the abuse to which he was subjected, because part of it was never knowing what was going to happen next, or what would eventually become of him. Farzad’s treatment was hideous: he was often interrogated for more 12 hours at a time, and spent six months in solitary confinement. “I was constantly tortured both psychologically and physically,” Farzad says.
Also dissidents, his brother and sister joined other members of the PMOI in Iraq at the group’s base at camp Ashraf. Under a truce with occupying US forces in 2009, the camp’s 3,400 residents were guaranteed protection under the Geneva Convention. However, the camp was handed over to the Iraqi government and the pro-Iranian administration, and increasingly became a target. Thirty-four people were killed at the camp in what US Secretary of State John Kerry would later refer to as “a massacre”.
In 2014 Farzad was released. A year later, he decided to flee Iran though his connection to the PMOI. Now in France, he remains dedicated to a free Iran. “My life now is for the overthrowing of the regime in Iran,” he says. “It is not so important for me necessary that I will see that freedom myself. What is important is that Iran becomes free.”