24 June 2010

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh children rights activist should be freed immediately

Behnam Ebrahimzadeh, an employee of the Shourabad pipe company in Shahr-e-Rey,  is among the most well-known children's rights activists in Iran, working to end child labour and to protect the rights of street children. He is also a member of the Committee to Facilitate Creation of Free Labour Organizations. 

Ebrahimzadeh was arrested by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence on June 12, 2010. During his arrest, Ebrahimzadeh was brutally beaten by police forces. Two of his ribs were broken and his chest was badly wounded. Immediately following this violent assault, he was thrown into Evin prison. The latest news indicates that he is under intense interrogation at Evin. He is in critical condition.

Last year on International Workers’ Day (May 1, 2009) Ebrahimzadeh and other labor activists were arrested in Laleh Park (Tehran) and imprisoned. They were released under heavy bail. Ebrahimzadeh’s file from that incident is still being processed by the court. Previously, the Ministry of Intelligence has investigated and imprisoned Ebrahimzadeh’s family in an attempt to put more pressure on him.

The Islamic Republic of Iran attempts to conceal its systematic abuse and neglect of children by putting pressure on children’s rights defenders.  Their efforts are and will remain futile, however, as hundreds of defenders of children's rights rise to stand in front of this regime. Behnam Ebrahimzadeh is imprisoned for defending the rights of children who are in the streets due to poverty. He has been imprisoned so the government’s abuse of children can be concealed.

The Children First Now campaign condemns Behnam’s arrest and torture, and will put all of its efforts towards obtaining his freedom. We ask all children's rights campaigns and all institutes that defending children's rights to ask for his release. Behnam should be released unconditionally and must receive immediate care and treatment in hospital.

Children First Now
14 June 2010

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