Officials have extended Baquer Namazi’s temporary leave from Evin Prison until Sunday, February 4.
Namazi, 81, was given four days’ leave on January 28 after his health has significantly deteriorated in recent weeks.
According to Namazi’s international legal counsel Jared Genser, the ailing former charity worker must report to the government of Iran’s Medical Examiner on February 4. The examiner met with Namazi and his doctors in the hospital before he was granted temporary release. The doctors informed the examiner that returning him to prison would be dangerous because of the poor conditions at Evin.
In a press statement, Genser said: “I strongly urge the Government of Iran to make Baquer's temporary medical parole permanent on humanitarian grounds. It is clear from the Government's own doctors that returning him to prison would be tantamount to a death sentence. It is my strong hope that such a gesture could also pave the way for the U.S. and Iran to find a resolution that would result in the release of Siamak Namazi and other wrongly imprisoned Americans and provide Iran accommodation regarding prisoners it is concerned about, where appropriate.”
IranWire’s report on Baquer Namazi from January 29 follows.
Baquer Namazi, who has been in prison since February 2016, has been granted temporary leave, though he is not allowed to speak to the media.
“While I am grateful the Iranian Government has granted a four day leave for my father, a return to prison would be life-threatening for him, " said his son Babak Namazi. "My father is in very poor health and has been hospitalized four times. I beg the Iranian authorities to show compassion and grant my father a permanent release so he can spend his remaining time with his family before we face an irreversible tragedy.”
Doctors have advised that Namazi not be returned to prison.
Namazi was taken to the hospital on Monday, January 15 after his blood pressure dropped and his heart beat became irregular. After being taken to a facility without a cardiac unit, he was later returned to Evin Prison without a diagnosis. A day later, he was eventually taken to a hospital that could treat cardiac patients.
Revolutionary Guards arrested Baquer Namazi on February 22, 2016. He had traveled to the country from Dubai to visit his son, Siamak, who had been arrested on October 13, 2015 while he was in Iran on business. The father and son have both been handed down 10-year prison sentences for espionage.
“We do not know why the Iranian Government has released Baquer Namazi for only four days, " said the family’s international lawyer Jared Genser in a statement. "But what is clear is that returning him to Evin Prison would be a death sentence that would be carried out quickly. On humanitarian grounds his leave must be made permanent. And it is urgent that Siamak Namazi and the rest of the wrongfully imprisoned Americans also have their cases resolved.”
US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert welcomed the news of Namazi's temporary release. But she added in a tweet: "We call for the immediate and full release of the Namazi family, including his son Siamek [sic], as well as other Americans unjustly held by the Iranian government."