The Wilson Center is deeply dismayed and troubled by the announcement that Siamak and Baquer Namazi have each been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran, according to the country’s Mizan news agency. Siamak is an Iranian-American businessman and a former Wilson Center public policy scholar. His father, Baquer, is a former UNICEF representative and previously spoke at several Wilson Center events.

Siamak has been imprisoned for more than one year, and Baquer was detained in February 2016. Although we do not know yet what the full charges are, the Mizan report said both were convicted of “cooperating with the hostile American government.” 

Siamak Namazi held an appointment as a public policy scholar at the Wilson Center from July through October 2005. During his tenure here and over the years, he has participated in a number of meetings at the Wilson Center and authored several publications. Baquer Namazi also participated in Wilson Center events. Both made valuable contributions to our community—an environment dedicated to free inquiry and open dialogue.

The Wilson Center shares the international community’s outrage over their sentences; Iran's actions are unacceptable and we urge the Iranian government to release the Namazis immediately.