A U.S. Navy veteran, who had been imprisoned in Iran for nearly two years, sued the Islamic government for $ 1 billion on Thursday, claiming it was taken hostage and tortured there.
Michael White of Imperial Beach, California, said he endured physical and mental torture and his “Long-term confinement “ According to Iran from July 2018 to June 2020 Criminal accusation It was submitted to the US District Court in the District of Columbia.
“White endured this trauma for nearly two years, never knowing if he would be released and reunited with his family, and repeatedly promised that his condition would improve soon.
The complaint said White had traveled to Iran and was kidnapped by a woman he considered a girlfriend in the summer of 2018, and was kidnapped by an Iranian government agency and put in jail. He insulted Iran’s Supreme Leader, was charged with cooperating with the US government against Iran, was charged with forging the case, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison without trial.
Veterans were first taken hostage at Evin Prison in Tehran. Prisons often housed two nationals and foreign prisoners and were transferred to Vakilabad Prison in Mashad for at least 18 months.
“The Bakirabad prison was responsible for certain serious human rights abuses,” officials said. “This includes previous occurrences of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary detention, and denial of the right to liberty.”
White’s imprisonment is also an effort to “manufacture additional leverage for diplomacy” after the Islamic administration draws concessions from the Trump administration and Iran withdraws from the groundbreaking nuclear deal with the United States in 2018. was.
The US State Department announced the release from the Swiss Embassy in June 2020. During that year’s Republican National Convention, he appeared on videotape in a segment between President Donald Trump and other hostages and detainees released during the Trump administration.
The Trump administration then advertised his release as part of an effort to secure the release of an American who was held hostage or imprisoned abroad.
“I want to let everyone know that recovering Americans captured and imprisoned abroad remains a top priority for my administration,” Trump said.
It was not immediately clear whether Iran would formally respond to the complaint or if there was a lawyer to represent it in the proceedings. If Iran does not respond to the motion, the judge can make a default decision on White’s behalf, and White can collect damages from a fund established for victims of state-sponsored terrorist acts. ..
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
from NTD News