[January 10, 2016] The following statement was issued by Mr. Nizar Zakka’s attorney in the United States, Mr. Jason I. Poblete related to Nizar’s unlawful detention as a hostage in Iran’s Evin detention facility:
“A source inside the Evin detention facility has advised that Nizar has been moved into an area of the detention facility that houses common criminals. We believe this was done by detention facility officials to punish Nizar who has been on a hunger strike since December 8.
Nizar is one of several hostages mentioned in a statement issued yesterday by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights situation in Iran, Ms. Asma Jahangir. In addition to calling for the unconditional release of all ‘prisoners of conscience,’ including Nizar, Jahangir said she was “deeply concerned about the continuous detention of human rights defenders in Iran, who have been tried on the basis of vaguely defined offences and heavily sentenced following trials marred with due process violations. They are left with no other option but to put their life at risk to contest the legality of their detention.”
“After more than a year in captivity, the Iranians continue to deny Nizar access to consular services as well as medical care. Nizar continues to be held in brutal conditions and is now, as a result of this move, being subjected to even more psychological torture and intense physical strains. Despite the inhumane conditions, Nizar maintains his innocence and refuses to sign forced confessions stating otherwise. Nor will Nizar pay a ransom for his release.
“As we have said in prior statements, we will continue to press the U.S. Department of State, the Congress, and other interested parties such as Lebanon, the International Red Cross, as well as advocates of freedom for Iran, to do more to secure the unconditional release of Nizar and, indeed, of all U.S. hostages.”
See the official letter here. For further information, please contact: