Two retired UNICEF workers living on Salt Spring are supporting a campaign to free an 80-year-old UNICEF worker who is in prison in Iran.
Baquer Namazi has been in prison since Feb. 22, 2016. Tony Kennedy and Nigel Fisher have added their names and a photo to a campaign with a hashtag of #freebaquernow that demands Namazi be released from prison. The one-year anniversary of his imprisonment has been chosen to apply pressure.
Namazi and his son Siamak are citizens of both Iran and the U.S.
“In mid-October 2016, they were given 10-year sentences for unspecified actions hostile to their country of origin,” explains a UNICEF retirees group press release. “There is nothing in Baquer Namazi’s life or career that offers any conceivable grounds for this sentence.”
Namazi has held top posts with UNICEF in Somalia, Egypt and New York, and worked to see the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child created.
Since retiring from UNICEF, he has been active in humanitarian work in Tehran.