I, Jasmine Ljungberg, kindly request your attention to the case of my friend, Robin Shahini, American citizen and resident since 2000, who went to visit his sick mother in Gorgan, Iran on May 25, 2016 later to be arrested and imprisoned by the Iranian government on July 12, 2016. Due to his interest in global affairs and human rights as well as Facebook posts revolving human rights violations in the world, he was charged with espionage and “collaboration with the U.S. government".
After months in prison, denied protection of his human rights or access to simple forms of enjoyment such as reading literature, he went on a hunger strike in March 2017 and wrote a suicide note early this year. However, the thought of his family and friends as well as his life and future in the US kept him alive.
Last year in May, Robin and I graduated from San Diego State University in International Security and Conflict Resolution. Before he was arrested, he was accepted to a Master's program at San Diego State University in Homeland Security, and I remember the look on his face when he shared the good news with me. He was supposed to be a graduate student now, but there is still hope for him to return to the US and to realize that dream; for this, he needs our help.
As his family members have spent all their savings to ensure Robin's release from prison and to bail him out, there are scarce resources left to keep Robin out of prison. I am stressing the difficulty of his case because the Iranian government keeps finding new ways to keep Robin in prison, even now as they are settling his former case of espionage. Now, new "speculations" have arisen to justify and create a new sentence related to the documents and signatures from his friends and family, as well as his letters from prison with his plea for help that have circulated in media. In court, this circulation has been claimed illegal, Robin told me. However, he, his colleagues, friends and family were just protecting his human rights and reaching out in the few ways possible to bring Robin's case to attention.
Despite the pressing need to pay for lawyers, Robin also has a medical condition which has worsened after the hunger strike, and he needs medical care too but cannot afford it at this moment. Robin, too, has lost all his resources during his imprisonment. On top of that, he doesn’t have any insurance there because he has been living in the U.S the last 17 years and has not had any plans of living in Iran.
Robin tells me that it is very difficult for him to see the effects of his imprisonment on his family's safety net and lives, especially due to his family's low socioeconomic background and his mother's condition. Therefore, he pleads for your support in this case and hopes that you can reach out a helping hand to bring him home safely.
Robin, his family and friends appreciate any donation.
Thank you so much!
There are many news articles and videos published about Robin's case. To learn more, please search 'American citizen Robin Shahini Iran' in your preferred search tool.