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Lebanese Detainee in Iran Goes on Hunger Strike | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Nizar Zakka speaks at a conference in Jordan in 2013. (AP)

Beirut – A Lebanese engineer who has been detained in Iran since 2015 went on hunger strike to pressure authorities to release him, appealing to the International Committee of the Red Cross intervene to help him.

Secretary General of the Arab ICT Organization (Ijma’a), Engineer Nizar Zakka was arrested in Tehran in wake of his participation in a conference that was held in September 2015.

He was kidnapped while he was headed to the airport to depart the country. It was later revealed that he was detained by the Iranian authorities.

In 2016, an Iranian court sentenced him to ten years in jail and fined him 4.2 million dollars on charges of conspiring against the state. His lawyer, Badawi Abou Deeb, later appealed the sentence.

Abou Deeb revealed that his client had started his huger strike on Tuesday.

“His open-ended strike is a protest against his arrest in what was a violation of the most basic of human rights and all international laws. He will carry on with his strike until he is freed without any conditions,” he stressed.

He said that Zakka’s case is unprecedented because he was arrested by the very state that officially invited him to attend an official conference.

“We call on all civil organizations that are concerned with protecting human rights, as well as the Lebanese state, headed by President Michel Aoun, to take immediate action to release Zakka before it is too late,” he demanded.