Benham (Asad) Ebrahimzadeh is an Iranian worker. He is a workers’ rights, children’s rights and human rights activist. It is almost 4 months now that he has been languishing in solitary confinement in the notorious Ward 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran for those same ‘crimes’. Although a $100,000 bail has been set for his release, the authorities refuse to release him and keep giving us the runaround.
Behnam was arrested on June 12, 2010. He was so badly beaten at the time of the arrest that his rib cage and leg were injured, and he is still suffering from a severely sore leg.
Behnam’s family visited him today, Sept. 30, and learned that he had started a hunger strike since yesterday, protesting the solitary confinement and the prison officials’ refusal to provide medical care for his leg. This is worrisome news and we are deeply concerned. His life is in danger and we must do something.
Behnam objects to the bail, saying he has not done anything to deserve imprisonment and to have to pay bail to be released. We, on the other hand, have repeatedly contacted the prison officials to let them know that we have the bail money ready in order to get Behnam released. But the officials refuse to give us a straight answer. All they say is, ‘we will contact you’, i.e. evading and dragging. Meanwhile Behnam continues to languish in solitary confinement. Some weeks they cancel even his family visitation. That, in turn, adds to his wife’s and children’s worries and the pressures they live under. The authorities 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 rescue Behnam.
I, Moosa Ebrahimzadeh, Behnam’s brother, write this letter on behalf of our family and Behnam’s family. We are concerned. We have no alternative but to fight for the freedom of Behnam, as well as of all other jailed activists, with everything in our power. We, therefore, expect you, the workers and all concerned people of the world, to help us. All Behnam did was struggle for a dignified life for all. Let us save him. Behnam and all other jailed workers, as well as others who are in jail for their justified, humanitarian demands, must be freed immediately.
I, for my part, thank all those who have so far carried out protests to free Behnam and other jailed workers. I also hereby announce my own campaign for Behnam’s freedom. Please support me in promoting this campaign.
Sept. 30, 2010
Translation: Jamshid Haadiaan, Free Them Now! Campaign http://free-them-now.blogspot.com/