Who is he?:
While a student at the University of Tehran in 1999, Batebi joined the mass student protests against the government and was photographed holding another protester's bloodied T-shirt. After The Economist ran the photo on its front page, Batebi was tracked down by Iranian authorities and arrested. He was first sentenced to death and then to a term at the notorious Evin Prison, where he was held in a wing reserved for dissidents and supposed enemies of state. After years of torture and declining health, Batebi managed to escape in 2008 while briefly out of the prison on medical leave and fled to the United States.
July 25, 1977, in Shiraz, Iran, the capital of Fars Province in the southern part of the country.
Batebi was released from prison temporarily in 2005 to marry Somaye Bayanat, a dentist. He didn't report back to prison as scheduled, prompting his arrest and reimprisonment more than a year later. Bayanat, meanwhile, was meeting a friend in the northern city of Gorgan on Feb. 23, 2007, when she was seized and forced into a car by intelligence agents. There are reports that Bayanat and Batebi had two children but are divorced, and that Bayanat still lives in Iran.
Pro-democracy activist against the system of mullah rule in the Islamic Republic.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi said that the shirt being held aloft by Batebi in the famous photo belonged to Ezzat Ebrahim-Nejad, a student who was shot and killed by Iranian authorities or militia in the 1999 democracy demonstrations. Batebi would later describe physical torture during nine years at Evin Prison that included having his head forced into a toilet full of feces, being beaten, being told his mother had died, solitary confinement, light deprivation, and mock executions. He lost some teeth and developed hearing, vision, stomach and kidney problems as a result of ill treatment.
After being granted asylum in the United States, Batebi began to tell his story of torture at the hands of the Iranian government and became a spokesman for the cause of human rights in Iran. In the demonstrations after the disputed 2009 presidential elections, Batebi sounded off on President Barack Obama in an interview with blogger Gateway Pundit: "Obama can hold talks with the regime in Iran if he wants. Is it morally correct for Obama to support the regime? Does he actually believe the people of Iran will appreciate that? ...This regime has the most dangerous of ideologies. They're killing the opposition."
"I wish each and every Iranian could travel abroad, come to the U.S. or go to Europe, for just one week, and feel, smell, and breathe freedom, human dignity, and realize the value of their lives." -- Ahmad Batebi to Voice of America on June 30, 2008