Bahman Ghobadi, the prominent Iranian filmmaker known for such award-winning films as “A Time For Drunken Horses,” and “No One Knows About Persian Cats,” is currently in the Kurdish Iraqi city of Erbil, trying to find out what happened to his brother, Behrouz, who was arrested on November 4. The family has hired a lawyer, Ahmad Saeed Sheikhi, to represent Ghobadi. But the authorities have provided no information on his whereabouts or his legal status after 24 days of detention, according to a source close to the family.
Fearing for the health of his brother who has several illnesses, Ghobadi recently told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, “He is innocent. He is my brother. He has done nothing other than helping me with some of my films. I want to announce through this interview that I am worried for my brother. My family is concerned about him and we can’t obtain any information about his current condition.”
According to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, there have been several cases of arrest or persecution of family members of exiled Iranian political activists and journalists. And it is feared that the arrest of Behrouz Ghobadi may be such a case.
An outspoken critic of the Iranian government, Bahman Ghobadi’s “Nobody Cares About Persian Cats” chronicled the struggles of young underground Iranian musicians trying to evade government censorship.
Ghobadi stressed that his brother was not involved in any political activities in Iran, and that he is a simple businessman. “[My brother] had immigrated to Sulaymaniyah in Iraq, where he opened a shop so that he could provide financially for his wedding. His son was born two weeks ago. On November 4, he and two of his friends were going from Sanandaj province in Iran, where they had travelled to see family, to Tehran.”