American Hostage in Iran on the Brink of Death

A U.S. permanent resident imprisoned in Iran on espionage charges is in extremely poor health after beginning an open-ended hunger strike to protest his detainment, his American lawyer said Wednesday.

Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen who has been detained in Tehran’s Evin prison since the fall of 2015, commenced his fifth hunger strike nine days ago. His blood pressure has already dropped to dangerously low levels, “complicating existing physical problems that are not being addressed,” according to his lawyer, Jason Poblete.

Zakka has previously been denied all medical and consular services, though it is unclear whether that remains the case. Iranian prison guards have moved Zakka to solitary confinement as punishment for the strike.

“As he has done throughout this ordeal, Nizar maintains his innocence,” Poblete said in a statementWednesday. “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.”


Originally published by the Free Beacon.