Amir Hekmati is one of the Americans released in the US-Iran prisoner swap announced earlier this month. A former marine and decorated war veteran, he was arrested in Iran in 2011 and accused of being a CIA spy, a charge the US calls a “gross miscarriage of justice.” Today ABC News published an account from Amir’s family of the abuse he suffered at the hands of Iranian officials, and it’s gruesome:
On their website, the Hekmati family alleges that for the first four months of his detention, Hekmati was held in a cell that was just three feet by three feet. His hands and feet were “constantly shackled.”
For more than a year, they claim, Hekmati was kept in solitary confinement – so long that he developed “severely limited vision.” He was also placed in “stress positions for extended periods” and cold water was poured in his cell to keep him from sleeping, the family wrote.
“Amir was forcibly given drugs, such as lithium, by prison officials. Officials would intentionally and abruptly stop this medication to induce a painful withdrawal response,” they wrote.
Hekmati was also interrogated by Iranian officials and subjected to electric shocks to his kidneys, whips to his feet and the young man “endured mental torture through threats, insults and humiliations.” The family said he was told at least once, falsely, that his mother had been killed in a car wreck.
Read more at ABC News.
Iran insists these are only allegations, but I’m finding it hard to trust them.