Alexander’s prison in Yazd, Iran.
Five U.S. citizens were captured in Iran, and held in prison for almost eight years. Siamak Namazi, Morad Tahbaz, Emad Shargi, and two other people that are not named publicly. There were mice, cockroaches, poor ventilation, and much more in their cells. There were no toilets in the cells, and they were often beaten. Each of these prisoners were falsely accused for being spies in Iran from the U.S. They had not seen sunlight in eight years, and dreamed of the day they would be free so they could get back to their friends and family. Finally, these five Americans were freed from the prison on Monday, the 25 of Sept. They were released because President Joe Biden made a deal with Iran, to exchange with Iran. The exchange was for prisoners in trade for access to about six billion dollars in Iranian oil revenue. The prisoner exchange was a breakthrough in a long time impasse over Americans that were in prisons around Iran. But, people are worried that releasing all of this money for a ransom, will actually lead to more hostages. President Biden has put in place that Iran will only be able to use this money for things that they need, such as food and other humanitarian needs, and they will be monitored. President Biden’s officials argue that this was one of the only ways that these prisoners could be released.
As the prisoners walked off the plane Monday night, Iran’s hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi, on hand for the United Nations General Assembly in New York, suggested Monday’s exchange could be “a step in the direction of a humanitarian action between us and America.”
After this whole situation, President Biden advises people not to travel to Iran, or other places where they can be wrongfully detained. America does not want more innocent people to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and even though this deal went through, it does not guarantee that something like this will not happen again. President Biden and the administration had been putting a lot of effort into releasing Americans that are being held in countries all around the world. For example, Paul Rusesabagina who was being held in a Rwanda prison. There are also many others that are in the process. President Biden is actively trying to work towards freedom of all innocent Americans, and also keep pressing towards making these wrongful actions in Iran to stop. The families were so happy to see their loved ones walk off that plane. Those former prisoners are humans that deserved to be freed.
In a statement issued on his behalf, Namazi said: “I would not be free today, if it wasn’t for all of you who didn’t allow the world to forget me.”
“Thank you for being my voice when I could not speak for myself and for making sure I was heard when I mustered the strength to scream from behind the impenetrable walls of Evin Prison,” he said.