Behnam's art shows up two governments' inhumanity
This is Freedom, as depicted by an imaginative and clearly talented young artist in the Sixth Form at Quintin Kyneston school, in St.John's Wood, London.
Not surprisingly, 18-year old Behnam has been offered a place at the St.Martin's School of Art.
But right now he has other things than A-levels to worry about.
The British government wants to deport Behnam and his younger brother with their mother to Iran, where his father has already been detained on political charges. The family originally came to Britain quite legitimately, when Behnam's Dad was working here for a shipping company. Before his latest arrest, the father managed to warn the family to stay in this country.
But it seems the British Home Office does not care. As a result the family face great danger. Both Behnam and his mother, Masoumeh, have been tried and sentenced by the Revolutionary Court in Iran on charges of association with an illegal group, the People's Moujahadin. Behnam has been sentenced to prison for five years, Massoumeh to seven years. They have also been warned that they will receive lashes, believed to be 70 in Behnam's case and 100 in Massoumeh's.
Fellow students at Quintin Kynaston have taken time in their lunch break to demonstrate in front of the school in solidarity with Behnam, and they may march on parliament. Teachers circulated a petition in support of the family's appeal to the Home Office.
This weekend, 17-18 December, there's an exhibition of Behnam's paintings at 37A, Broadhurst Gardens, NW6, which is not far from Finchley Road tube station.
Seven days after this, Home Secretary Charles Clarke, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and other MPs will give an exhibition of another kind, in hypocrisy, as they sit down with their families to dinner, supposedly celebrating in honour of another family who found "no room at the Inn" under an oppressive regime.
Peace and goodwill to all Men, Amen.
To ask the Home Office to explain about this, you could e-mail:
email@example.com. The staff are bound to have time on their hands at this time of the year.
You could also try a nice message to Mr.Clarke himself at: