Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Sun: 58 days in Iran prison for Photo

A BRITISH tourist was locked up for 58 days in a hellish Iranian jail - for taking this photo. 

Andrew Barber, 43, was accused of spying because the snap - meant to be of a sunrise - showed pylons near a power plant. 

Jailed ... Andrew Barber
Jailed ... Andrew Barber

Cops then searched his laptop and found photos Andrew had taken of buildings in IRAQ where he had worked for delivery firm DHL.

They thought he had taken them in Iran, and accused him of espionage. A judge then threw him into Tehran's notorious Evin prison, which houses political detainees - some awaiting execution.
Andrew said: "When the judge called me a spy, I went weak at the knees and started staggering with the shock."

Andrew was refused access to the British embassy, blindfolded in interrogation then put in a 14ft by 8ft cell for 26 days. He was subjected to psychological torment, dubbed "white torture".

He said: "I had no furniture, and almost no natural light, only a bright fluorescent tube that stayed on 24/7, even when you were trying to sleep.

"I was allowed out of my cell ten minutes a day to use the toilet. I started to lose my mind after about seven days. It was hard to keep sane because I had no information about how long I was going to be there for."
Andrew, of Clapham, South London, said he survived by making playing cards from cardboard cups and playing solitaire.

He was eventually moved to share a cell with an Iranian prisoner before being handed over to the British embassy.

Andrew said: "I can't sleep properly because of what I've been through. I still get flashbacks."
He had been in Iran for three weeks when held on June 21 in Ahwaz, in the south.

Britain's minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, has given Iran's ambassador in London a dressing down over the incident.

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