Imprisoned union activist Behnam Ebrahim Zadeh, who began a hunger strike in Raja’i-Shahr prison on December 3, 2014, is now in troubling physical condition. He started his hunger strike in protest to being transferred from the political prisoners’ ward to death row. While on strike, he wrote this letter to his son Nima (who is suffering from leukemia) on December 23, 2014.
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.
December 23, 2014