Families Relay Stories Of Americans Detained In Iran
What was the date of your brother’s detention?
BABAK NAMAZI: My brother was taken on October 13, 2015
INSKEEP: Babak Namazi’s brother is Siamak Namazi. He’s an Iranian American businessman who traveled in and out of Iran until his detention.
You must have had no idea, even when you first heard the news, that you would still be in this situation four years later.
NAMAZI: Even in my worst nightmare, Steve, I could not imagine that four years later, I’d be discussing the plight of not just my brother but my innocent 83-year-old father, as well, who’s doing really, really poorly from a health perspective.
INSKEEP: His father was arrested after his brother. Baquer Namazi is also a U.S. citizen who traveled in and out of Iran. Both were imprisoned for, quote, “collaborating with a foreign government,” though their trials were secret. They were imprisoned back when U.S. relations with Iran were improving. They remain in Iran as relations have grown worse.
The father is now out on medical release but still not allowed to leave the country. Siamak remains in Evin Prison on a mountainside at the northern edge of Tehran. His brother Babak says he is sporadically able to place a call.
NAMAZI: He is in a very dark place. And I try as – to the best of my ability to shed some light and meaningful light.
INSKEEP: What does he say to you?
NAMAZI: Get me out of here.
INSKEEP: In what way, if at all, does he described the conditions in which he’s being held?
NAMAZI: I mean, it’s – he’s been held in various conditions. He’s gone from situations where he was held in solitary confinement for very, very long periods – you know, months and months and months where he was in a dark room – no bed to sleep on, no warm blankets, where he was beaten, where he was tased, where he was completely isolated – so you know, to, relatively speaking, better conditions, where he’s not physically abused anymore.
INSKEEP: The things you just described – being beaten, isolated and tased – do you know that from people who have visited him, or has he actually spoken directly to you about those things over the phone?
Read more at: WVPE
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