Siamak Namazi (R) and his father Baqer before their 10-year sentences in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran in 2016


Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi, a political prisoner in Iran since October 2015, has asked judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi to “stop trying to destroy me and my family”.

Namazi’s father Baquer, an 83-year-old former UNICEF employee, was also held in Evin Prison from February 2016, when he flew to Iran to
inquire about his son’s status. He is on restricted medical leave because of a life-threatening heart problem, but is not allowed to leave the Islamic Republic.

The two men were sentenced in October 2016 to 10 years in prison for “espionage”.

Siamak Namazi asked Raisi why his requests for furlough have been repeatedly denied while those around him are allowed to go on temporary leave: “Four years and four months have passed without a break….Meanwhile I have witnessed the brother of a senior state official being given furlough just hours after being put into prison.”

Namazi writes that he is seeking “an opportunity to repair my poor mental and physical state and allow me to help my 83-year-old father recover…and rectify my family’s deplorable situation”. He says he was told on August 23 that a furlough had been approved; however, an assistant prosecutor suddenly tripled his bail without permission. When relatives raised the increased amount, they were told furlough had been denied.

The former oil executive concludes his appeal to Raisi, “I ask that you issue an order to the authorities to stop trying to destroy me and my family and observe the laws concerning security prisoners and recognize my rights.”

At least 11 dual and foreign nationals, arrested by the Revolutionary Guard Corps or the Intelligence Ministry, are imprisoned. They include:

*Anglo-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, serving a 5-year sentence

*Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert, seized in January 2019

*French academics Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, detained in June 2019

*Iranian-American-British environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, arrested with eight colleagues in January 2018

*American navy veteran Michael White, imprisoned in July 2018

*Austrian-Iranian IT specialist Kamran Ghaderi, serving 10 years

*Austrian-Iranian businessman Massud Mossaheb, the Secretary General of the Iranian-Austrian Friendship Society, held since January

Ahmadreza Jalali, a researcher who is a permanent resident of Sweden, has been sentenced to death