Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, labor activist sentenced by Iran authorities to 9.5 more years in prison

January 06, 2015
Behnam Ebrahimzadeh pictured here in a hospital with his wife and son, Nima, during a brief prison leave.

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh pictured here in a hospital with his wife and son, Nima, during a brief prison leave.



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Persian2English – Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, an imprisoned children’s and labor rights activist and father to a son battling cancer, has been sentenced by the Iranian Judiciary to 9.5 more years in prison. The latest sentencing comes at a time when Mr. Ebrahimzadeh was months shy of finishing his prison sentence of five years.

According to reports, the 9.5 years sentence is related to the brutally violent events that took place in Evin Prison’s Ward 350 in April 2014. Following the events in April Iranian authorities reportedly transferred Mr. Ebrahimzadeh to solitary confinement a total of three times, raided his home, threatened and interrogated his son and wife, and opened a new case file against him.

During the third time in solitary confinement Mr. Ebrahimzadeh reportedly launched a hunger strike in protest, Iranian authorities reacted by transferring him out of Evin to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. Currently Mr. Ebrahimzadeh is still being held in Rajai Shahr – he is locked up in a ward not meant for political prisoners, but reserved for dangerous criminals.

The 9.5 years prison sentence was issued to Mr. Ebrahimzadeh on December 29th by Judge Salavati, who is notorious for his corrupt rulings. Mr. Ebrahimzadeh was charged with Gathering and Colluding…, Having relations with the PMOI (a controversial Iranian opposition group) from inside prison, Propagating against the regime through connections with Ahmed Shaheed (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran) and possessing satellite dish equipment (for viewing television) at his home. Mr. Ebrahmizadeh’s family and close friends have denied accusations by Iranian authorities that the labor activist is linked to the PMOI in any way.

Mr. Ebrahimzadeh was arrested by Iranian security agents on June 12, 2010 and was originally sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Revolutionary Court before the Appeals Court changed his sentence to five years in prison.

Persian reporting by HRANA

In December 2014 Mr. Ebrahimzadeh reportedly launched a new hunger strike to protest against his imprisonment in Rajai Shahr, during which time he wrote a letter to his son. The letter has been translated to English by Tavaana:

My dear Nima,

It has been 20 days since I began my hunger strike. I now understand more than ever the pain that your small, frail body is going through. You had not even finished elementary school when I was forced to leave you, and now five years have passed since those difficult days. We have spent thousands of days and nights apart.

My dear boy, the authorities have sent my case to Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court in order to frame and convict me again. They did not even stop there. After we returned from court, where I had been abused and insulted, I was transferred from the political prisoners’ ward to Ward One, which is used to house dangerous prisoners and those awaiting execution.

Nima, I am sure you understand why I am not there to hug your aching body and kiss your forehead these days.

My dear Nima, I am sorry that I cannot write more than these few lines. You might be angry with me. You might be sad. You might have lost patience, or perhaps your pains have become unbearable. Perhaps you will forgive me when you grow up, and you will understand the pain of a weeping father imprisoned for the crime of trying to cure the cancer of tyranny.

My son! Having no food does not pain my soul as much as not having you. I love my champion of a son, who is standing tall like a cedar against the storm.

Take care of yourself and your mother.

Daddy Behnam

December 23, 2014


1. Ebrahimzadeh Jailed labor activist READ SIGN #freebehnam @eu_eeas @UN @ILOACTRIV 

2. Wherever U are in the world JOIN THE TWEET STORM 4 Behnam Ebrahimzadeh. #FreeBehnam #iran @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

3. ONE tweet every min for 60 min! #FreeBehnam #iran @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

4. FREE Behnam Ebrahimzadeh NOW. #FreeBehnam #iran @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

5. “We must use time wisely & forever realize that the time is always ripe 2do right” #Mandela #FreeBehnam #iran @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV

6. Behnam is a labor activist #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

7. Behnam arrested by security forces on 12th June 2010 #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

8. His only son is diagnosed with cancer #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

9. A Story of pain #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

10. Silence is the fuel for violence #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas READ

11. Let’s keep Behnam’s dreams alive by being his voice. If we don’t then who will? #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept@ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

12. Nima Ebrahimzadeh, son of labor activist Behnam has cancer. #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

13. Behnam needs to be with his terminally ill son #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

14. Please tweet & RT for #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

15. We must stand up for Behnam’s rights. If we don’t who will? #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

16. Be the voice of Behnam #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

17. I am Behnam’s Voice #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

18. You’re not alone #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept@ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

19. Let’s send the message that Behnam’s not alone. Tweet at #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

20. Please support #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept@ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

21. We demand the immediate & unconditional release of #FreeBehnam Ebrahimzadeh @UN @StateDept@ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

22. #FreeBehnam needs your support NOW SIGN

23. #FreeBehnam needs your action NOW SIGN

24. Behnam sentenced to 9+ years prison by regime in #Iran #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

25. Behnam sent to solitary confinement 3 times after prison guards raided ward 350 of #Evin #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

26. No prison visit for Behnam SIGN #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

27. Behnam Faces New Charges #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

28. Behnam Sentenced to another 9 yrs in prison SIGN #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept@ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas

29. Behnam A father behind bars in #Iran #FreeBehnam @UN @StateDept @ILOACTRIV @eu_eeas SIGN

  • Balatarin
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    1 Comment

    1. Azadi vA barabari…nanag bar diktator

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