The Iranian judiciary handed down 10 years of imprisonment to four nationals and two Iranian-Americans over charges of espionage and collaboration with the U.S. government, state-run Press TV reported Wednesday. The U.S. State Department has urged Iran to release the two convicted dual citizens
Those charged were identified as Baquer Namazi, 80 and his son Siamak Namazi — both holding dual citizenship. Others convicted are Nazaar Zakaa, Farhad Abd-e Saleh, Kamran Qaderi and Alireza Omidvar, according to Press TV.
While Siamak was arrested by the country’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps last October, his father Baquer was taken into custody this February. According to the report, Siamak was previously an employee of a Sharjah-based oil and gas company. Baquer worked as a former Iranian provincial governor and was also as a UNICEF representative in Somalia, Kenya, Egypt and other countries.
The State Department expressed concern over the sentencing of Siamak and Baquer.
“Siamak Namazi has been unjustly detained in Iran for over a year. His father, Baquer Namazi … was also reportedly unjustly detained at the end of February 2016. We remain especially concerned by reports of his declining health and well-being,” Mark C. Toner, deputy spokesman of the department, said in a statement.
“We join recent calls by international organizations and UN human rights experts for the immediate release of all U.S. citizens unjustly detained in Iran, including Siamak and Baquer Namazi, so that they can return to their families,” Toner added.
Last October, Iranian judiciary convicted Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian of espionage. He is a dual Iranian-American citizen from California and was reportedly arrested at gunpoint along with his wife in July 2014. He and three other American prisoners were released this January as a part of a prisoner exchange with Iran.
Earlier this month, Rezaian sued the Iranian government for “irreparable harm” following “torture and other cruel treatment” during his 18-month imprisonment at the infamous Evin prison in capital Tehran. The lawsuit was filed in a district court in Washington.