84-Year-Old U.S. Detainee Baquer Namazi Suffering “Severe Health Conditions” in Iran
In a statement published on February 22, 2021, a relative of two U.S. citizens detained in Iran on trumped-up charges–Baquer Namazi and his son, Siamak Namazi–called on President Joe Biden to secure their release.
The statement, published on the fifth anniversary of former UNICEF official Baquer Namazi’s arrest in Tehran, noted that both men are struggling to hold on after years of being separated from their family while the family is barely surviving “this nightmare.” The full statement, written by Baquer Namazi’s son, Babak, is printed below.
February 22, 2021
Statement by Babak Namazi
Son of Baquer Namazi and Brother of Siamak Namazi, American Hostages in Iran
It is with the heaviest of hearts that my family and I mark the fifth anniversary of Iran’s arrest of my father, 84-year-old Baquer Namazi. Although he was released after two years from detention due to his critical and failing health, he remains a hostage of Iran. He is banned from leaving the country to reunite with his family and seek the international medical attention he so desperately needs to survive.
In the past five years, he has been robbed of birthday celebrations, holidays, anniversaries, the high school graduation and college acceptance of both of his grandchildren, and the simple joy of spending his retirement years with his family.
It has been five long and unbearable years that my children have been deprived of the unconditional love of their grandfather; my brother – who remains imprisoned – and I from the warm embrace of our loving father; and the world from the contributions of a selfless humanitarian.
My father has instead spent that precious time suffering through horrific prison conditions, human rights violations, and the constant fear for the well-being of my brother Siamak, who himself marked five years as a hostage this past October. It is far more than anyone should be forced to endure, let alone a person of his age, and the toll has been immense. His time as a hostage has caused and exacerbated a variety of severe health conditions, some of which, such as his heart condition and the severe blockages in the major arteries to his brain, threaten to take his life at any moment.
I implore the United States government to do everything in its power to bring my ailing father and brother home, and urge Iran to release my family members. My family cannot survive much more of this nightmare.
Click here to learn more about the dual and foreign nationals currently detained in Iran.