Mr. Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese National and US Legal Permanent Resident, has been unlawfully detained by Iran since September 2015.
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. In protest of his situation, he has held at least five hunger strikes.
In addition to several Amnesty International Urgent Action notices, Mr. Zakka has been declared a prisoner of conscience by several international freedom advocates including Dr. Asma Jahangir, the second United Nations Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Iran.
Despite the ordeal, including psychological and physical torture, Nizar has maintained his innocence.
More information on Mr. Zakka’s case, including further background and updates, can be found below.
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