Statement on the Continued Unlawful Detention of Internet Freedom Advocate & Hostage Nizar Zakka
On behalf of Mr. Nizar Zakka and his family, Mr. Zakka’s lawyer in the United States, Mr. Jason Poblete, issued the following statement:
Iran negotiated in bad faith, including using innocent civilians such as Mr. Zakka as political leverage during the JCPOA talks. Unlike the Obama administration, the Congress in two resolutions and President Trump, are refocusing U.S. priorities to include the unconditional release of hostages such as Nizar. Allies should follow America’s lead.
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 and the resolutions introduced in the Congress can be found below.
Prior Statements and Releases