Iranian-American Groups Urge Release of Siamak Namazi
Washington, DC – A coalition of Iranian-American organizations jointly sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry today urging for a redoubling of efforts to secure the release of Iranian American Siamak Namazi from detention in Iran. Namazi was detained while visiting Iran in October of last year and is being held at Evin prison. It is unclear whether any charges have been filed against him.
The organizations signing the letter are the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), Pars Equality Center, the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), and National Iranian American Council (NIAC).
A PDF of the letter is here and the full text is reprinted below.
5 February 2016
The Honorable John Kerry
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
Dear Secretary Kerry,
The Iran nuclear deal represents a signature moment in American diplomacy, and the Islamic Republic’s recent release of four Iranian-Americans from prison in Tehran is a welcome development. However, one man has been left behind, an American who has worked tirelessly to build bridges between Iran and the United States: Siamak Namazi.
We, the undersigned Iranian-American organizations, urge you to redouble your efforts to secure Siamak Namazi’s release. Siamak Namazi has committed no crime. He was simply doing what he loved: building bridges between Iran and the Western world. There is no legal evidence to justify his detention, and he should be released immediately.
For Iran to jail someone like Siamak Namazi is not only unjust and without any legal foundation, but it is also self-defeating. After all, Iran needs bridge-builders as it makes its way back into the international community after years of sanctions.
Siamak Namazi loves his ancestral homeland, Iran, with a passion. He loves the people of Iran, the rich bounty of her poets, the food, the culture, and its ancient history. That’s why he chose to go to Iran and live and work there for a few years after graduating from Tufts University and Rutgers.
Siamak also loves his country, the United States, with equal passion. He is not alone. Hundreds of thousands of Iranian-Americans share those views.
Siamak Namazi embodies the best of his generation of Americans, and that’s why the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland named him as a Young Global Leader in 2007.
An American who has worked tirelessly as a bridge-builder of cultures, countries, and faiths is sitting in a prison in Tehran. We urge you to work tirelessly to pursue Siamak Namazi’s release.
Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans
Pars Equality Center
National Iranian American Council
Iranian Alliances Across Borders
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran