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Iranian-American, Wife Detained In Iran Since July

Tehran's Evin prison (file photo)

An Iranian-American citizen and his wife have been detained in Iran since late July without being formally charged, a rights group reported on December 2.

The New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights In Iran (ICHRI) said in a statement that Karan Vafadari and his wife Afarin Niasari, who run an art gallery in Tehran, were arrested by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

The two are being held at Tehran’s Evin prison, the group said.

“Yet another case of a dual national snatched and held without charge or access to a lawyer represents an alarming continuation of a judicial system run by intelligence agencies with no respect for the law and no accountability,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the ICHRI.

Their families had until now decided not to publicize their cases, hoping that they would be released, the ICHRI said.

"Then when the family started receiving anonymous phone threats and demands for money, they decided to go public and write a letter to Iran’s supreme leader," the statement said.

Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said in August that two “dual nationals” had been charged with "organizing mixed-gender parties for foreign diplomats and their Iranian associates and serving alcohol at their home."

He did not name them.

In past months several dual nationals, including Iranian-Americans, have been arrested by the IRGC and sentenced to prison.

In October, Iran sentenced Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi and his 80-year-old father Bagher Namazi to 10 years in prison each for cooperation with the United States.

With reporting by Reuters