Marine Veteran Details His Horrendous Four-Year Torture at the Hands of Iran

By Published on May 12, 2016

A U.S. Marine veteran’s lawsuit against the Iranian government gives intricate detail of the four and a half years of torture he suffered under his captors.

Amir Hekmati, a native of Flint, Michigan and Afghanistan war veteran, filed his suit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He is suing the Islamic Republic for abuses he suffered while imprisoned, which range from beatings to sleep deprivation.

“He has endured what no human being ever should endure in one of the most infamous prisons in the world,” said Scott Gilbert, Hekmati’s lawyer. “… Particularly because of his extraordinary service to his country as a Marine in Afghanistan, he was treated brutally.”

Hekmati was arrested by Iranian authorities in August, 2011 while visiting his grandmother. He was released as part of a prisoner swap in January.

The 11-page suit Hekmati filed describes the brutal treatment he received while imprisoned. Hekmati’s first 17 months were spent in solitary confinement. The torture he received from his captors was as horrendous as it was creative. His suit describes how he was regularly beaten with batons, tased in the kidney, held in stress positions for hours on end and whipped on the bottoms of his feet.

The guards holding Hekmati would throw water on the floor of his cell and expose him to bright light 24 hours a day to keep him from sleeping. In one of the more dastardly tortures he endured, Hekmati was forced to take addictive lithium pills and other drugs, which were then taken away in order to cause him to suffer withdrawal symptoms.

“He was denied proper medical care and suffered severe malnutrition,” said the suit.

Hekmati’s torturers also attempted to manipulate him psychologically. In one example, they told him his sister had been involved in a disastrous car crash, and he would only be allowed to call her if he confessed to being a spy for the CIA. After spending nearly five months in solitary confinement, Hekmati was taken to a hotel by his captors and told he would be released if he took part in an “internal training video.” He initially refused, but was told if he did not participate, he would be thrown back into solitary. Iranian authorities broadcast the video on state television, propping it up as an alleged confession; Hekmati was then thrown back into solitary confinement.

“Mr. Hekmati was told that all of these abuses would continue for as long as it took unless and until he confessed to being a spy,” said the lawsuit.

Hekmati would initially be sentenced to death by an Iranian court, but his sentenced was then lessened to ten years. He was convicted of “cooperating with a hostile government, presumably due to his U.S. military service.”

Following his conviction, Hekmati was transferred to a prison full of some of Iran’s most dangerous felons. The lawsuit describes the conditions in the new prison as worse than his solitary confinement.

“His cell was infested with rats, which he had to kill himself using a broomstick. His skin was eaten by lice, fleas and bed bugs,” noted the suit.

“He still has his family, and he cares about them deeply, but his life as he knew it is gone,” said Scott Gilbert. “He does want to go back to school. He does want relationships with people and to regain the life he once had, but that’s going to be a long and difficult road.”


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Copyright 2016 Daily Caller News Foundation

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