“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for September 2nd, 2008


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I forget if I’ve posted on this, but Pauline Levis passed this to me ages ago:

Please support.


Behnam, an outstanding BA Hons Fine Art student at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London, his younger brother, an A level student at Quintin Kynaston School, and their mother, are in urgent need of asylum in the UK.

What Behnam and his mother face is deportation to prison, torture and likely death.

As a former teacher at the boys’ school and now a close family friend, I have known Behnam since his arrival at the school in 2003. I vouch for the family’s complete integrity and for the authenticity of their asylum claim.

Behnam is a delightful, popular young man and an excellent role model for young people. In recognition of his achievements under adversity he was Highly Commended at the Anne Frank Awards in 2007. He was recently made an Ambassador for Refugees and Arts by the Refugees & the Arts Initiative.

Behnam is an exceptionally talented visual artist, much of whose artwork reflects his open-minded approach to matters such as politics and religion and his strong opposition to the current regime. This, alone, would place him in great danger in today’s Iran.

Aged just 21, Behnam recently held an exhibition “Visions of Freedom” at the Watermans Arts Centre, Brentford, his fifth solo art exhibition in London . He has also exhibited alongside other artists including at the Human Rights Centre of Amnesty International and at Portsmouth University. He and his family are an enormous asset to our society.

The image included is “Hope for Freedom” by Behnam, aged 16, depicting the view of a political prisoner looking out towards freedom. The doves and the Statue of Liberty are outlined in the colours of the Iranian flag. Around the image are representaions of the ancient Persian Human Rights Codes of Cyrus.

In April 2005 two of Behnam’s friends were arrested at Behnam’s family’s home in Iran for allegedly printing and distributing anti-regime literature.

Three days later Behnam’s father was arrested on arrival at Tehran Airport. Beaten and interrogated about the whereabouts of his wife and older son, Behnam’s father was released following the payment of money.

He warned his wife in London, that she and Behnam were wanted by the authorities and could not return to Iran. He was subsequently re-arrested and held in the notorious Evin Prison for 15 months until he was conditionally released.

The family claimed asylum in the UK, but their claim was rejected. It again failed on appeal and upheld at a reconsideration hearing. Shortly after receiving this news the boys’ mother collapsed and was taken to hospital. This has happened on a number of occasions since this situation arose and is clearly stress-related.

The family sought to take the case to the Court of Appeal, especially as there is evidence which was not available at the earlier hearing, but their application was rejected.

A fresh asylum claim based on additional evidence was been submitted in April 2008.

Their position is one of great danger. Both Behnam and his mother have been tried and sentenced in absentia by a court in Iran on political charges. Behnam has been sentenced prison for 5 years, his mother to 7 years.

Even more shocking is that they have been warned that they will receive lashes, 70 in Behnam’s case and 100 in the mother’s. Knowing the people concerned we cannot see how they could survive such a brutal ordeal.

The Iranian regime has an appalling, and deteriorating, Human Rights record – including executions of minors, floggings and other forms of torture.

We are completely dismayed and outraged by the suffering this delightful family are going through.

The family is at real risk of deportation to Iran. This petition is part of a campaign to stop this.

Please sign the onlne petition if you have not signed the paper one. In all, almost 10,000 people have now signed the petition, demonstrating the enormous concern there is for this much loved vulnerable family in such danger.


If you would like to get involved in the campaign please let me know.

On behalf of the family, thanks for your support.

Pauline Levis
Coordinator, Behnam & Family Must Stay Campaign”

Written by modernityblog

02/09/2008 at 15:10

Posted in Uncategorized

Update on Ms. Delich.

with 9 comments

Harry’s Place carries a rather amusing piece on Ms. Delich’s strange reading habits.

I’m not 100% sure who Dr Gideon Polya is, but the feverish, almost maniacal tone, of the article is enough to send a chill down your spine and I found one paragraph particularly inextricable amongst the intellectual verbiage:

“America has been bankrupted by its support for Zionism and Islamophobic, Zionist-promoted Asian wars – it can no longer afford the continuing destruction of its wealth and reputation and perversion of its libertarian, humanitarian and democratic culture by the lying, racist, traitorous Zionist lobby in its midst. [My emphasis.]

I can only wonder what else Ms. Delich’s browser history and cookies would reveal?

Update: I took the time to skim read Dr. Polya’s political writing and they are weird in the extreme, like someone is shouting at the writing paper in a mix of shorthand and political jargon. Dr. Polya seems to blame the US-Israeli for 9/11 and the bombing in Mumbai. Well, in fact, there are few things that Dr. Polya doesn’t blame on the US and Israel.

Written by modernityblog

02/09/2008 at 01:16

Posted in Uncategorized