|Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:18|
Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate & Hostage Nizar Zakka
This week marks the second year that Internet freedom advocate and prisoner of conscience Nizar Zakka has been unlawfully detained in Iran after being invited by Iranian authorities to speak at an ICT Conference.
The following update is from Mr. Zakka’s family regarding his current health situation, which continues to deteriorate.
We continue to hope and pray for Nizar’s prompt release from Evin Prison. Nizar has lost more than 70 pounds, continues to suffer from several health ailments, and now he has a very serious gum infection that requires surgery. For reasons that we do not know, Evin prison officials refuse to provide Nizar with the medical attention that he needs. Using health as a weapon is cruel and a violation of human rights.
To secure medical care, Evin Prison guards have even asked Nizar to sign forms in the Persian language, a language that he does not understand. Nizar will not sign these forms because he fears that his jailers may be trying to, again, force Nizar to sign a confession for crimes that he did not commit. We ask that anyone in a position to do so, please help Nizar secure his freedom so that he can be reunited with his family and get the health care that he desperately needs.
Mr. Zakka traveled to Iran in September 2015, at the invitation of Iran’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Shahindokht Molaverdi, to speak at a conference on the use of technology and the Internet to promote social, economic, and educational development in the region. After the conference, en route to the airport, Mr. Zakka was taken by persons believed to be associated with the IRGC’s Basij or the intelligence services.
Mr. Zakka has been denied the right to review the charges or evidence against him and his lawyers have not been allowed to mount a proper defense. Despite the ordeal, including psychological and physical torture, Nizar has maintained his innocence.
More information about Mr. Zakka’s case can be found below.
Matter of Nizar Zakka – Hostage in Iran (YouTube)
Prior Statements and Releases
- UPDATE 16- Nizar Zakka, Two Years Unlawfully Detained in Iran
- UPDATE 15a- Iran Renders Another Opinion in Zakka’s Case Affirming Prior Judgement
- UPDATE 14- After Learning of Son’s Testimony, Congressional Resolution, Zakka Breaks Hunger Strike After 33 Days
- UPDATE 13- Fourth Week of Hunger Strike Zakka Says “Liberty or Death…there is no turning back”
- UPDATE 12- As Nizar Starts Third Week of Hunger Strike, Family Pleas for Humanitarian Release
- UPDATE 11- Nizar on Fifth Hunger Strike, Now “Open Ended”
- UPDATE 10- Nizar Zakka Begins Fifth Hunger Strike, Iran Responds With Torture
- UPDATE 9- Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Nizar Zakka
- UPDATE 8- Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Zakka
- UPDATE 7- Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Nizar Zakka
- UPDATE 6- Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate Nizar Zakka
- UPDATE 5- The Continued Unlawful Detention of Nizar Zakka
- US LPR Zakka Meets With Iranian Prosecutor, Lebanese Ambassador to Tehran
- UPDATE 4-Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate Nizar Zakka
- UPDATE 3- Zakka Starts Hunger Strike, Demands Unconditional Release
- UPDATE 2- Nizar Zakka Celebrates 2nd Birthday as a Hostage in Iran
- UPDATE 1- The Continued Unlawful Detention of Nizar Zakka, Unconditional Release on Humanitarian Grounds Urged
- The Continued Unlawful Detention of Nizar Zakka, Unconditional Release on Humanitarian Grounds Urged