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Free Iranian Labor Activist and Children's Rights Defender Behnam Ebrahimzadeh
Petition Background (Preamble):
UPDATE: JANUARY 14, 2013 BEHNAM EBRAHIMZADEH, SITTING IN PRISON, HAS JUST FOUND OUT THAT HIS 13-YEAR-OLD SON, HIS BELOVED NIMA, IS IN A HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER. HE NEEDS TO GET OUT OF PRISON NOW! PLEASE SEE HIS APPEAL BELOW:
don’t know when it was, maybe eight to nine days ago, when I heard that my only child, my 13-year old Nima, already overcome by the pain of separation from his father and all kinds of deprivation, has been admitted to Mahak Hospital, a hospital for children with cancer; a bitter experience and a shocking moment, which have pierced deep into my soul.
I don’t know about the condition of my darling child. My wife doesn’t clearly tell me, but she hopes that I would soon be given leave to come and see them. I have therefore asked for leave, which if granted would certainly have a great impact on me and my sick child. This is the only moment in the life of a father, which he doesn’t want to lose under any circumstances. So, thanks to my friends, I have come up with a property surety, and like in the past when I have asked for things, I have been given a favourable answer. But maybe this time too it will turn out to be just words.
Under these circumstances, with thousands of thoughts in my mind about my son Nima, remembering the empty promises of those in charge has turned my suffering into an excruciating pain. I have to be at the side of my sick child. This is my right. I am a political prisoner, whose anguish over his son’s illness has made everything look dark. There are several courses of action open to me, one of which is to go on a dry hunger strike. Maybe I’ll get an answer that way.
I want to choose patience and endurance, while resisting and putting pressure; however, anything can happen. First, deprivation from food, leave, proper visits, telephone, medical care, etc., and now deprivation from the right to be at the side of my sick child is what is going to break me down.
I insist on my demand for leave to visit my child; at the same time, I appeal to everyone to support the rights of my child and to help his recovery. Who would have thought that someone who for years has fought for children’s and workers’ rights, would one day be in prison for his beliefs and defence of children, and then hear that groups of compassionate people, friends and comrades are visiting his sick child, but he himself isn’t able to stroke the feverish head of his child?
I will defy and resist, as I have done up to now, but who is answerable for all this injustice and suffering? Who is responsible for the condition that my child Nima is in?
I have hope in the strong and kind hands of the doctors and nurses, hope in the support of friends, comrades, colleagues and the good and caring people of the country. I am most grateful to all those who over these past days have been asking about my child and who have visited my family and son.
I thank all the doctors and nurses of Mahak Hospital and all those who have been helping to aid the recovery of my son. In the hope of a speedy recovery for my son Nima Ebrahimzadeh and all sick children.
Behnam (As’ad) Ebrahimzadeh
Ward 35, Evin Prison
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, a worker at a polyethylene pipe-manufacturing factory in the outskirts of Tehran, is a member of the Follow Up Committee to Set Up Free Trade Associations and a children’s rights defender.
He reportedly suffered two broken ribs as a result of beatings during his arrest in June 2010, and is currently serving a five-year prison sentence. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh was initially sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in December 2010 on national security charges.
This was overturned by the Supreme Court, and after a retrial he was sentenced to five years in prison after conviction of “gathering and colluding with intent to harm state security”, apparently in connection with his trade unionist activities on behalf of the Follow Up Committee to Set up Free Trade Associations. This sentence was upheld on appeal in October 2011.
AND WHEREAS: Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Iran is a signatory state, specifies that “everyone shall have the right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests;
THEREFORE: We the undersigned demand that the international community speak with one voice to declare the sentencing and imprisonment of Behnam Ebrahimzadeh illegal.
CONSEQUENTLY, we further demand that the international community bring all possible pressure to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDTIONALLY release Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, all other imprisoned labor activists, and indeed all prisoners of conscience in Iran.
The Free Iranian Labor Activist and Children's Rights Defender Behnam Ebrahimzadeh petition to AFL-CIO, ILO, UN, UNHCHR, US State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: behnam ebrahimzadeh, labor activist, iran, islamic republic of iran, children's rights, free union of workers in iran, torture, prisoners of conscience, political prisoners