Earlier this month, Junior Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) introduced S. Res 245, a simple resolution in a series this year, “Calling on the Government of Iran to release unjustly detained United States citizens and legal permanent resident aliens…” While the narrative for our detained Americans in Iran continues primarily in secret, we have now received sad but predictable confirmation that Baquer and Siamak Namazi have had their appeal rejected.
As per previous reports, Siamak has remained in captivity through his assigned ten-year sentence in Ward 2A within Evin Prison (his father Mohammad Baquer was imprisoned shortly thereafter), an institution in northern Tehran synonymous with human rights violations, and the location where political prisoners are held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).Trump’s administration has already positioned detainees—and the Namazis in particular—as central in their rhetoric informing a wave of new sanctions on the country, and have requested their release and that of Xiyue Wang, Nizar Zakka, and others.
Namazis attorney Jared Genser had previously stated that even a house arrest would be more agreeable than the unspeakable abuses committed at Evin, but the Iranian government had once gone so far as to insist that the Namazis were not even detained; with new reports, that statement has obviously been proven as false. On Monday, August 28th, the Namazis have officially had their appeal denied by the Tehran Appeals Court, a decision which Genser calls “psychological torture,” adding that Baquer has lost 30 pounds while imprisoned and even underwent triple bypass surgery.
Earlier this month, U.S. Representative Nita Lowey wrote a letter to The Washington Post pleading for action on this matter. The Namazis were constituents of Rep. Lowey when they last resided in the US, and she pleads for Americans and Congress to heed the urgency described in S. Res 245, and to do all that they can do secure their release.
Some posit that the Trump administration’s recent wave of sanctions on Iran (which specifically call out the IRGC by name) position detainees like the Namazis at the center of a broader dispute, victimizing them in the wake of damaged diplomacy. By prolonging their harsh imprisonment, Iran may anticipate another deal to be brokered, according to Genser. For now, it has been made clear that in the kangaroo court of the nation, the Namazis have been confirmed once again as guilty of conspiring with Iran’s enemies.
For previous coverage of the Namazis on The Iranian, click here.
Cover photo: Credit Leonhard Foeger/Reuters
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