U.S. citizen Siamak Namazi has been put back in an Iranian prison today after being temporarily released by authorities in Tehran earlier this month. Namazi’s pro bono counsel Jared Genser says that, “His furlough, which started on October 1, was renewable and had already been renewed once on October 8. Late this morning (Tehran time), Siamak was taken back into custody by the IRGC and forced to return to Evin Prison.” When he was released earlier this month, Iran claimed through state-run media that it was proof of the regime’s “good faith.” Namazi is convicted in Iran on spying charges and has been detained since 2015. The State Department say there is no merit to his charges.
In a statement today, Siamak’s brother Babak Namazi said:
“I was genuinely hopeful for the first time that my father’s departure was the beginning of a new, less painful chapter in the struggle to make our family whole again. But Siamak’s return to Evin has shattered that hope. There is absolutely no reason he needs to be in prison – there never has been.”
State Department Spokesman Ned Price had this to say when asked about Namazi’s detainment:
“Siamak Namazi and the other Americans who are unjustly detained in Iran, they are detained on a wrongful basis. They should be released. We are working to do everything we can to advance the prospects for their release and for their safe return to their families just as soon as we can.”