Amnesty International have launched an appeal following the arrest of two family members of a St Andrews student in Iran.
Ava Meir, a first year student, only recently discovered that her cousin, Siamak Namazi, and her uncle, Baquer Namazi, have been arrested by Iranian authorities.
Both Siamak and Bacquer Namazi, a former senior United Nations official and dual American-Iranian citizen, were arrested without explanation and the charges against them have yet to be released to the public.
Middle Eastern media website Al-Monitor speculated that the arrest may have been at the behest of the hardline elements within the Iranian regime.
The website also said, “The arrest Feb. 22 of former senior UN official Baquer Namazi, 80, who holds dual Iranian-American citizenship, defies any sort of logic.
“Baquer is the father of Siamak Namazi, who was unfortunately arrested in October after a period of intense interrogations by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran. More than four months have passed and there is still no clear information about why Siamak was arrested and what he is accused of.
“The original arrest and now the incarceration of Siamak’s father clash with basic human rights, core Islamic values and the overall direction that the Islamic Republic of Iran adopted when it decided to move away from its past escalatory policies in the nuclear negotiations and adopt a conciliatory approach — one that led to the historic nuclear agreement in July and to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in January.
“This agreement has been hailed as a win-win solution out of the decade long nuclear impasse.”
Ms Meir told The Saint, “I do know they [Siamek and Bacquer Namazi] are lovely good-willed people with kind hearts.”
“I was just very surprised and upset on behalf of my family,” she added.
She also said that she was, “shocked and upset given their complete and utter innocence and the fact they were given no trial or taken through any necessary procedure of law.”
Amnesty International St Andrews President Caroline Sexton said: “We are totally opposed to the arrest of both Baquer Namazi and his son, Siamak Namazi in Iran.
“Both were arrested without just cause or due process, which is a blatant violation of human rights. Additionally, multiple contact attempts by family and legal counsel have been ignored.
“Amnesty International St Andrews plans to raise awareness about the unfair arrest and subsequent holding of Baquer and Siamak Namazi through petition signings and fundraisers.”
Amnesty International St Andrews will be launching a petition in the first week after spring break and Ms Meir has encouraged all students to sign it.