Iran releases US citizen Baquer Namazi to seek healthcare abroad
Baquer Namazi, an 85-year-old man, has spent over 6 years in Iran’s jails
Namazi, who had some pre-existing medical issues grew sicker over the years
Baquer and Siamak, the father-son duo, was arrested on trumped up charges
Iran has released an 85-year-old American citizen who was detained in the country for seven years in order to seek medical treatment. Baquer Namazi, who used to work with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), will now be able to take treatment abroad, the UN announced on Saturday.
Making the announcement was Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Dujarric said Guterres was grateful that UN President Ebrahim Raisi had listened to the intergovernmental agency’s request. The UN spokesperson expressed his pleasure at the release of Siamak Namazi, Baquer’s son.
Baquer Namazi and Siamak, father and son, were arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison on spying charges. The United States and the United Nations have both called the charges trumped up. In 2018, Baquer Namazi was granted medical furlough, but he was still not allowed to travel outside Iran.
In October 2021, the senior Namazi went through a surgery to clear a blockage in his artery, a medical threat that his family says was life-threatening. Meanwhile, Siamak Namazi was stationed at the Evin prison in Iran, a prison unpopular for being the site of the regime’s political prisoners.
Following Saturday’s development, UN said it will “continue to engage with the Iranian authorities on a range of important issues, including the regional situation, sustainable development and the promotion and protection of human rights.” Baquer has spent six years in Iranian jail.
Baquer Namazi’s lawyer Jared Genser said in a statement Saturday said his client’s travel ban has been listed for the first time in seven years. “For the first time in seven years, Siamak Namazi is at home with his parents in Tehran.”