Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate Nizar Zakka
Nizar On Fifth Hunger Strike, Now “Open Ended”
Nine days ago Internet freedom advocate Nizar Zakka started his fifth hunger strike in Evin Prison to protest inhumane treatment at the hands of Iranian captors who have held him hostage since September 18, 2015. Unfortunately, the hunger strike is already taking a physical toll with his blood pressure reportedly reaching dangerously low-levels of approximately 70/50, complicating existing physical problems that are not being addressed. Nizar has also been moved and isolated, again, from fellow prisoners because he refuses to eat. He has also been forced to sign documents that he cannot understand.
In a personal letter to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, one of Nizar’s three sons, Mr. Nadim Zakka, told Rouhani that his father “is now on an open-ended hunger strike and is in very poor health,” stressing that he is very worried for Nizar’s life. “Please stop our suffering before it is too late,” Nadim concluded.
Nizar’s lawyer in the United States, Jason Poblete, said that “as he has done throughout this ordeal, Nizar maintains his innocence. He only wishes a transparent judicial system were available to prove it; that is not the case in Iran. The Zakka family asks for continued prayers and support as well as the unconditional release of Nizar. The Iranian government should put politics aside and release Nizar on a humanitarian basis before this matter escalates, as did the recent case of an American in North Korea.”
Nizar was kidnapped by the Iranian regime on September 18, 2015. Nizar was in Iran because he was invited to speak by Shahindokht Molaverdi at a women’s Internet conference. Molaverdi is a member of Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet and serves as the vice president of Iran for Women and Family Affairs.
More information on Nizar Zakka’s case can be found below.
Prior Statements and Releases