Namazi Begins Hunger Strike

Namazi Begins Hunger Strike

It’s been seven long years for Siam Namazi, an Iranian American who has been wrongfully detained in Iran since 2016. Little effort has been pushed by the United States to free him, and now he is taking a stand with a seven-day hunger strike. He intends to carry this out in hopes of appeal for President Biden to bring him home.

In a pleading letter, Namazi writes, “Alas, given I am in this cage all I have to offer you in return is my additional suffering. Therefore, I will deny myself food for the same seven days, in the hope that by doing so you won’t deny me this small request.”

Seven Long Years

Namazi was arrested in Iran October 2015 on charges of cooperating with the United States. Namazi’s father, age 80, was similarly arrested on the same charges. Both were convicted in 2016 and has spent time under solitary confinement with no access to legal counsel. Just last October was when Namazi’s father could be released to seek outside medical treatment due to heart complications.

His painful experience that has never been accounted for exploits the outright injustice. He entails of an inmate asking him questions like: “How can your beloved America be so heartless?” Genser, Namazi’s lawyer, describes his well-being as “desperate, despondent, heartbroken, and also angry” in one feeling. 

Overlooked by Three Administrations

It didn’t help to hear how the U.S. reached a deal to free WNBA star Brittany Griner early last December. Namazi feels overlooked with the burden that three U.S. presidents and multiple administrations cannot get this resolved. 

Babak Namazi, Siamak’s brother, told CNN reporters that “his family is of course gravely concerned for Siamak’s health and distraught that he has resorted to such desperate measures.”

The White House received Namazi’s letter on Tuesday. Spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “We remain committed to securing his freedom and the U.S. government is continuing work to bring him home along with U.S. citizens who are wrongfully detained in Iran.”  

You can read more of Namazi’s letter here.

Featured Image by: Namazi family

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