To Labor Organizations Worldwide:
On June 12, Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a labor- and children's rights activist, was arrested. His ribcage and his leg were injured during a brutal beating administered upon his arrest, and he continues to suffer from intense pain in his leg. He has been held in solitary confinement in Ward 209 of Evin Prison for 4 months. His family was informed that bail had been set at US$100,000 dollars. A month has passed since Behnam's family informed the prison authorities that they had raised the money to post bail, but they have received no further response and Behnam remains imprisoned.
In protest against his solitary confinement, against the constant pressure and torture, and against the uncertainty related to whether he will be released on bail or not, Behnam has gone on hunger strike.
In a letter dated September 30, 2010, Behnam's brother, Moussa Ebrahimzadeh, declared on behalf of himself and his family an international campaign to release Behnam from prison, calling on all freedom-loving people of the world to support them and to put pressure on the Islamic Republic to free Behnam as soon as possible.
We ask for the broadest international support for this call, and for efforts to free all imprisoned workers.
The letter from the brother of Behnam Ebrahimzadeh is attached.
Campaign to free JAILED WORKERS in IRAN
Shahla Daneshfar ,0044-77798 98968
Bahram Soroush, 0044-7852 338334
30 September, 2010
From brother of jailed Iranian trade unionist to people of the world:
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh has gone on hunger strike. Help us save him!
Behnam (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/