American Diplomacy in the United States After the Release of Siamak Namazi, an Iranian Businessman Detained in a Foreign Prison
Together, the announcements regarding Venezuela and Iran represented one of the largest mass releases of Americans detained abroad in recent memory, though one American official said the timing was coincidental. Mr. Biden was involved in an attempt to push for the quicker return of Americans who had been held in Venezuela, and it has drawn some criticism for the president’s willingness to exchange criminals.
At the same time, Iran on Saturday released Siamak Namazi, a 51-year-old dual-national Iranian American businessman who had been jailed since 2015, on a temporary furlough and lifted the travel ban on his father, Baquer Namazi, an 85-year-old former official for the United Nations, according to the family’s lawyer.
The releases also come at a time of heightened global tensions that has proved dangerous for Americans traveling abroad. The United States denounced the actions of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, for invading Poland earlier this year, and that led to the imprisonment of a professional basketball player for bringing drugs into Russia.
The political prisoners were released by the government of Nicaragua and put on a flight to the United States.
The deportees have been banned from public office and from competing in elections after being convicted of treason and charged with serious crimes.
“It was the Nicaraguan government that decided to offer the opportunity to these individuals to travel to the United States,” Price said. “We agreed that we would of course receive them.”
The release of one American prisoners is a result of American diplomacy, according to the Secretary of State.
Political and business leaders, journalists, civil society representatives, and students were among those who were taken into custody.
Humanitarian parole will be granted to individuals that flew from Dulles International airport and will allow them to remain in the US for two years, if they wish, according to Price.
“They made us sign some documents saying in one single line that we were leaving the country of our free will with no further explanation,” he said. “On one side what happened is shocking, but on the other, I’m overwhelmed by this moment, the opportunity to hug our family. My daughter hasn’t seen me in three years.
Chamorro, who has been in jail since June of 2021, said that they had no idea where they were going. We had no idea where we were going until the buses arrived at the Air Force station and we realized that we would have to leave the country.
“Peaceful” but not free: a new law to strip the Nicaraguan diaspora of their citizenship in the United States
“We’re also working, we have worked, with a diaspora population, knowing that there is a very active and engaged Nicaraguan diaspora population here in the United States who we imagine and are confident will be here to greet these individuals and to welcome them to the United States,” he said.
He said they are celebrating, but they are not free. “The political prisoners cannot go back to their homes, cannot go and have a political life, a civil life, study, work, express themselves freely. That doesn’t exist in the Central American country.
“The second target is directed at Washington: what type of legal measure will the United States take to simply deal with these people? It’s extremely complicated for a country to interact with a stateless individual, from a bureaucratic and legal point of view,” he added.
Many Nicaraguan journalists have been forced into exile, and there remains “practically no independent media within the country,” according to press freedom group Reporters without Borders.
At the Dulles International Airport, a group of family and friends of former prisoners waited to get on a flight to their destinations with some joy and disbelief.
The country’s National Assembly held an extraordinary session to pass a new law that seeks to strip those 222 prisoners of their Nicaraguan citizenship.
The Otamar-Murillo era of the deluge: an anniversary of the November 23rd European election, and what the public would have learned
The European Union and international human rights organizations said the election in November was a sham. A close-knit group of trusted figures in police, military and parliament live under the administration of President Carlos Otamar and his wife, Vice PresidentRosario Murillo.