Esmail Bakhshi, labour activist challenges the regime in Iran for the torture he endured during the time he was detained.
- Esmail Bakhshi was arrested on 18th November 2018 at the strikes and protests of the sugar cane workers of Haft Tapeh in Iran and spent 25 days in jail. He was released as a result of the continues protests of the workers in Iran and the support of the labour unions around the world. He is now speaking up against the torture he was subjected to while he was in prison.
Esmail Bakhshi says in his letter: “During the 25 days of my unfair imprisonment, in the custody of the Ministry of Intelligence, I suffered distress and agonies, which I’m still not free of”. Bakhshi stated that it is his right and the right of the people in Iran to know why he was imprisoned and tortured and he invites the Intelligence Minister to take part in a live televised debate to answer his questions.
Esmail Bakhshi’s letter which was posted on his Instagram is supported by many others who have been subjected to torture. During the last 40 years, the Islamic regime in Iran has imprisoned and tortured hundreds of thousands of people. Esmail Bakhshi is the voice all those who survived torture and those who are still in prison and are currently subjected to torture by the Islamic regime in Iran.
The campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran has commented on Esmail’s letter and stated:
” Esmail Bakhshi’s letter is also a reminder that the Islamic Republic of Iran, the regime of oppression and heinous crimes, must be expelled from all international organizations, including from the International Labour Organisation (ILO). “
The campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran asks you to support Esmail Bakhshi and hold the Islamic regime accountable for torture and imprisonment of labour activists and all other political prisoners in Iran.
You can send your message via Tweet to @ HassanRouhani and say that you support #EsmailBakhshi
You can also send an email to the following authorities in Iran:
Please see below the translation of Esmail Bakhshi’s letter.
The campaign to Free Political Prisoners in Iran (CFPPI)
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Shiva Mahbobi, spokesperson
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Esmail Bakhshi’s letter:
To: Mr. Alavi, the Minister of Intelligence.
Dear Mr. Alavi,
During the 25 days of my unfair imprisonment, in the custody of the Ministry of Intelligence, I suffered distress and agonies, which I’m still not free of, and for which I have had to take medications for my mental health. But I have been struggling with two main questions, which only you have the answer to, and it’s my right and the right of the honorable people of Iran to know the answers.
First of all, in the first days of my arrest, I was brutally beaten up and tortured. I was unable to move for 72 hours and couldn’t sleep because of the excruciating pain. Until today, almost two months after those difficult days, I still feel pain in my broken ribs, kidneys, left ear, and my testicles.
The torturers called themselves “the unknown soldiers of Imam Zaman” (an eschatological redeemer of Islam), but insulted me and Miss Gholiyan with the crudest sexual insults and beat her up too. But worse than the physical abuse was the psychological torture. I am not sure what they did to me to feel so broken and still, my hands shake because of the tortures.
I was so proud but felt so humiliated and weak that I didn’t recognize myself. Still, despite taking medication for my mental health, I have aggressive panic attacks.
My first question from you who are the Minister of Intelligence and someone who is a religious figure is this: with respect to morals, with respect to human rights, and especially with respect to the religion of Islam, what is the torture sentence of a detainee? Is it right? If it’s right, how much of it?
My second question, which to me and my family is even more important than the physical and psychological torture, is listening to the conversation between me and my wife by your intelligence services.
My interrogator told me that they know everything about me, even how many times my wife argued with me about my activities. When I asked about it, he said they had been listening to my phone calls for a long time, which made me furious during the interrogation.
My and my family’s question from you as the Minister of Intelligence and a religious figure is this: is listening to the most personal conversations of people right morally and with respect to human rights and the religion of Islam? What gives your intelligence system the right to listen to the personal conversations between me and my dear wife?
So, Mr. Alavi, I, Esmail Bakhshi, invite you to a live television debate to hear your answers.
4 January 2019
[The above letter is translated from Farsi into English by Campaign to Free Jailed Workers in Iran]