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Iran Temporarily Releases US Citizen From Prison, Allows Another To Leave Country For Medical Treatment

Siamak Namazi, a US citizen detained in Iran, has been released on a week’s leave from the country’s Evin prison, a lawyer for Namazi told CBS News on Saturday. And his father, Baquer Namazi, who is also detained in Iran, was told that he could leave the country for medical treatment.

Jared Genser, the family’s pro bono attorney, said Siamak will spend a night at home with his parents in Tehran for the first time in seven years.

“While these are critical first steps, we will not rest until all Namazi are able to return to the United States and their long nightmare has finally come to an end,” Genser said in a statement. He also confirmed that the Baquer Namazi travel ban had also been lifted.

The elderly Namazi is scheduled to undergo surgery in Tehran. The United Nations announced the launch in a sentence on Saturday afternoon, describing him as destined for medical treatment abroad.

Baquer is a former UN official and was arrested in 2016 after trying to help his son, who had been arrested there the year before.

During his time in Evin, Siamak has been beaten, electrocuted and forced to view distressing images, including some showing his father in captivity, according to his lawyers. He has also repeatedly requested to visit his father, and has been denied each time, his family said.

Last year, Baquer’s lawyers appealed to the UN to help free the then 84-year-old man because he needed immediate surgery. Throughout his time in prison, Baquer has been hospitalized several times and has been diagnosed with various illnesses, including adult-onset epilepsy.

Baquer’s son, Babak Namazi, revealed last year that the Iranian judiciary had closed his father’s case and commuted his sentence to time served in early 2020 due to his deteriorating health. However, the Iranian authorities have continued to arbitrarily deny him a passport to allow him to leave the country, effectively holding him captive.

The United States believes that Siamak and Baquer were wrongfully detained.

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