Amir Hekmati, former video game developer (Kuma Reality Games) and United States Marine, is now seeing reparations for the physical and mental torture he endured during the nearly five years of imprisonment he experienced while the Iranian government kept him in custody.
He was released back in January from the prison he has been trapped in since 2011. The Marine was charged with espionage by the Iran government. The Marine Corps Times maintains that during the first 17 months of Hekmati’s imprisonment, he was kept in solitary confinement. The lawsuit he is seeking details his experience:
“Hekmati was kept in solitary confinement in a small cell where the Iranians whipped the bottoms of his feet, tazed him in the kidney area, put him in stress positions for hours, hit him batons, threw water on his floor to keep him from sleeping and ketp a bright light on 24 hours a day to induce sensory deprivation. [His] conditions were even more brutal. His cell was infested with rats, which he had to kill himself with a broomstick. His skin was eaten by lice, fleas, and bed bugs. He suffered from recurring lung infections and constant stomach problems from malnutrition.”
Hekmati claims he was also mentally tortured with stories such as his sister being involved in a fatal car accident to where he would only be allowed to contact his family should he admit he was a CIA spy.
When he finally broke down and complied to do an “internal training video”, which later turned out to be a broadcast as ‘proof’ that he was a US agent, he was told that he could escape the confines of solitary. They threw him back in despite promises to the contrary.
At one point Hekmati’s sentence was proclaimed to be faced with the death penalty but it was later reduced to a 10 year prison stint instead.
He was released among many other Iranian-Americans (which included Jason Rezaian of the Washington Post) back in January as a part of the US/Iran prisoner exchange. No details have been released about what specifically he is asking for in his suit but if you are interested in reading more, you can find out all of the details of both Hekmati as well as others involved at the full interview with The Marine Corps Times.
It is a solemn topic … what do you geeks think? Any thoughts? And please, out of respect for everyone involved – please keep conversations civil and respectful.