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Who is Siamak Namazi? Detained American prisoner held in Iran begins hunger strike

Siamak Namazi's letter was handed over to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Friday
Siamak Namazi, 51, slammed the president's office in his lengthy letter (@mia_sobe/Twitter)
Siamak Namazi, 51, slammed the president's office in his lengthy letter (@mia_sobe/Twitter)

TEHRAN, IRAN: Siamak Namazi, an American-Iranian prisoner in Iran has written to the US President, to inform them about his decision to go on a hunger strike. The letter that was handed over to national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Friday, January 13, by his attorney starts with, "All I want sir, is one minute of your days' time for the next seven days devoted to thinking about the tribulations of the U.S. hostages in Iran."Namazi further writes, "Just a single minute of your time for each year of my life that I lost in Evin prison after the U.S. Government could have saved me but didn't. That is all. 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."

Adding more pain to his misery, Namazi’s father, Baquer was arrested in his attempt to meet his detained son by Iranian authorities on his arrival in 2016. However, Baquer, 86, was allowed to receive life-saving treatment in the United Arab Emirates in October, last year. Siamak is held for allegedly collaborating with a foreign national and has been in notorious Evin prison for the past 7 years. "How does one describe what it feels like to be stripped of your humanity and treated as some sort of extortionately priced item instead?" How do I explain the devastation my family and I are left with after so many half-hearted prisoner deals crumbled last minute," writes the 51-year-old prisoner.


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Other American-Iranian prisoners include Emad Shargi, and Morad Tahbaz. Shahab Dalili, who is a US permanent resident is also detained by the Islamic country. Earlier in her briefing White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre indicated she wasn’t familiar with Shargi’s case, which drew frustration from her daughter, Hannah, “I just don't understand how I should have faith that my dad's going to be home if the White House doesn't even know his name, she told on ‘Face the Nation’ show.

Namazi slammed the president's office in his lengthy letter, "In the past, I implored you to reach for your moral compass and find the resolve to bring the US hostages in Iran home. To no avail. Not only do we remain Iran's prisoners, but you have not so much as granted our families a meeting." He adds, "Only the President of the United States has the power to bring us home, should he set his mind to do so".