According to reports from Iran, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, labour and human rights activist, is being detained in Ward 350 of Evin Prison in Tehran. Behnam was recently admitted to the Prison’s clinic with a bleeding stomach, following a hunger strike in protest against his continued arbitrary detention and maltreatment.
Behnam was arrested over four months ago, on 12 June 2010. He was so badly beaten during his arrest that he suffered serious injuries to his rib cage and leg. He has never been charged, and is being detained solely for his labour and human rights’ activities.
After months of uncertainty and dragging, the authorities in September set the shamelessly exorbitant bail of $100,000 for his release. However, although Behnam’s family have now finally secured the onerous sum, the judiciary is still refusing to release him, giving the excuse that the bail must be based on assets from the capital Tehran and not the provinces.
“They are just wasting time while my brother’s life is in danger. We need the help of all the workers, of all the people, across the world to save Behnam”, said Moosa Ebrahimzadeh in an appeal to the people of the world (See here for the full text of Moosa's letter).
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You (in personal capacity and/or on behalf of your union/organisation) can help by publicising the case of Behnam Ebrahimzadeh and other jailed workers in Iran, signing the petition for the release of Behnam and other jailed workers and by sending a letter of protest to the Islamic Republic authorities.
Please click here to sign the petition
Send letters of protest to:
Sadegh Larijani - Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via website: http://cp.president.ir/en/
Ali Khamenei – Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
Dear Mr …
[Sadegh Larijani, Head of the Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran]
[Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran]
[Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran]
Re Mr Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, Iran
I am writing to protest in the strongest possible terms at the arbitrary arrest and detention of labour and human rights activist Mr Behnam Ebrahimzadeh.
Mr Ebrahimzadeh was arrested on 12 June 2010, and for months his whereabouts were unknown, despite repeated, anxious enquiries by members of his family. However, when Behnam’s family finally were able to make contact with him, they learnt that he was being held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran and that during his arrest he had been badly beaten up, as a result of which he had suffered serious injuries to his rib cage and leg.
Given Mr Ebrahimzadeh’s labour and human rights activities and the fact that no charges have been brought against him, it is clear that Mr Ebrahimzadeh is being detained solely for his labour and human rights’ activities – i.e. the same reason for which trade unionists such as Mansoor Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi and Reza Shahabi, and countless others before them, have been put in prison by your government.
Earlier this month, following a hunger strike in protest against his continued detention and maltreatment, Mr Ebrahimzadeh was admitted to the Prison’s clinic with a bleeding stomach. He finally agreed to end his strike at the request of his family, when his condition had become critical.
Furthermore, after months of uncertainty and dragging, an onerous bail of $100,000 was set for Mr Ebrahimzadeh’s release. Although Behnam has objected to the bail, protesting that he has not committed a crime to be in jail in the first place and now to have to pay bail for his release, his family have secured the amount. However, the authorities are still refusing to release him, giving the excuse that the bail must be based on assets from the capital Tehran and not the provinces.
Given the above, I wish to express my strongest protest against the detention of Mr Ebrahimzadeh and my concerns about his health and safety in prison. I call on your government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr Ebrahimzadeh and all the other jailed workers, including Mansoor Osanloo, Ebrahim Madadi and Reza Shahabi.
Please be assured that I and my organisation are following this case closely, and will continue with all necessary publicity actions and national and international lobbying in order to secure Mr Ebrahimzadeh’s and other jailed activists’ safe release.
[Name, position, organisation]