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UN panel: Iran illegally holding US father and son

[JURIST] Jared Genser, lawyer for detained Baquer and Siamak Namazi, on Monday released the opinion [text, PDF] from the UN Working Group on arbitrary detention [official website], which concluded that Iran was illegally detaining the father and son without legitimate reason.

The non binding opinion was issued by the panel of five experts on international humanitarian law. The panel cited the Iranian actions as depriving the men of their liberty in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [materials] and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [text]. The opinion demanded that Iran, "immediately and accord them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law."

Genser, who received the opinion in August, urges [NYT report] that, "it is time for Iran to resolve these cases and allow the Namazis to be reunited with their family." The choice to release the opinion right before the gathering at the United Nations surely means to invite pressure for his clients release.

Both men were sentenced [JURIST report] in 2016 to 10 years in prison following convictions on charges that they spied and "cooperated" with the US.

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