Target: Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, Head of the Judiciary
Goal: Release Iranian filmmaker’s brother for supposed attempts to endanger national security
The brother of Iranian filmmaker, Bahman Ghobadi, was arrested without charge on the 4th of November. The only information released by the government in regards to the prisoner is that he is suspected of endangering national security. Behrouz Ghobadi has not been allowed to contact his family or his lawyer since his detention. He was taken from a taxi by plain-clothes policemen and reportedly taken to a detention center in Sanandaj, Iran. Behrouz Ghobadi suffers from multiple medical ailments including a heart condition that requires daily medication and adequate medical care.
While he is a member of the minority Kurdish community, he has no connections to any political group. The Kurdish people are routinely discriminated against in Iran and this could lead to ill treatment for Behrouz Ghobadi while in the hands of Iranian security forces. Behrouz Ghobadi operates a store in Iraq and has worked on the production of a number of his brother’s films but none of this should justify his detention. If he is not to be charged with a crime then he should be unconditionally released.
Some human rights organizations have expressed fears that Behrouz Ghobadi was arrested in an attempt by the Iranian government to silence his filmmaker brother. Bahman Ghobadi has not lived in Iran for many years, producing films freely about a wide range of topics. There have been other cases reported by Amnesty International where family members of employees at BBC Persian were arrested to put pressure on them to stop reporting.
Sign this petition to urge the Iranian government to either charge Behrouz Ghobadi with an internationally recognized crime or release him unconditionally. He must also be allowed immediate contact with his lawyer or family members. By allowing these simple stipulations, Iran will follow the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 27, which it has signed on to follow. Release Behrouz Ghobadi and begin the process of repairing the Iranian human rights record.
Dear Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani,
We urge you to either charge Behrouz Ghobadi with an internationally recognized crime or release him immediately and unconditionally. By holding Mr. Ghobadi without charge, your government is causing further damage to Iran’s human rights record. Mr. Ghobadi must be allowed to make contact with his family members or a lawyer. He also has a number of medical conditions including a heart condition. We ask that he be allowed to receive adequate medical care so that he does not suffer unjustly.
Release Behrouz Ghobadi to his family and stop persecuting him for the perceived crimes of his brother, Bahman Ghobadi. Iran must allow for the open exchange of ideas in order to join the international community and live up to its commitments.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Harald Hoyer via Fotopedia