Esmail Bakhshi: out of jail but still not really free!

Around two weeks after he was released, Esmail Bakhshi has still not been seen in public. The following is a summary of an interview with one of his relatives. It gives details of Mr Bakhshi’s situation and was published as a sound file by Shahed Alavi, a Kurdish journalist, on December 21st 2018. We have been unable to verify these details with the Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union.

No journalists have met him. Esmail Bakhshi was released after 400 million toman [$95,000] bail was raised. He is not able to contact journalist or have interviews. He is not under house arrest but he is not allowed to contact those outside. He has been threatened. Before his release he had to take an oath that he wouldn’t publish any photos or film of himself. Or have any interviews.

During his 25 days of detention he was subjected to the worst types of treatment and the severest forms of torture. Both during his arrest and during the interrogation. During his arrest they continuously beat him for two hours and he passed out. Then he was handed over to the Security Police and then to the Intelligence Ministry’s detention facility. They revived him. The hit him with [steel] cables. He passed out several times.

During interrogation he was repeatedly beaten. On several occasions, they beat his testicles and other sensitive parts of his body with a club. He has severe trouble walking and even sitting down and sleeping. His ribs have been injured and probably a number of them have been broken. So he needs immediate medical treatment.

He was severely beaten many times. Then when he passed out they gave him psychotropic drugs, supposedly as pain killers. Even two weeks after his release the effects of these drugs are still there. He still thinks he is in jail. He has [bouts of] shivering and sweating. He sits in a corner and does not interact with anyone.

They have seriously threatened him and his family. At present he is not allowed to contact anyone or to be present at any gathering. Since his release the Intelligence Ministry have contacted him and threatened him not to contact anyone, not to express any views.

Since his release no labour activists or human rights activists have contacted him.

He has been sacked from Haft Tappeh. His bank accounts have been frozen. He is in very dire straights financially, and as a result is not able to access a doctor or to be examined. He really needs to be treated so that he knows what drugs have been given to him. And what medications he should take to return to a normal state. So that the hallucinogenic effects are overcome.

So even though he has been released he can’t do anything.

His lawyer, Ms Zilabi, has not been able to contact him.

The Haft Tappeh workers have been threated and told to not contact him.

At the end of the interview an appeal was made to human rights and other activists, lawyers, Haft Tappeh workers and the people of Shush to contact Esmail Bakhshi and to help him.

Source: Shahed Alavi, a Kurdish journalist.

Translation: Shahrokh Zamani Action Campaign.

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