Siamak Namazi Joins the Advisory Board of Hostage Aid Worldwide

June 20, 2024 – Hostage Aid Worldwide is proud to announce that Siamak Namazi, former American hostage in Iran, has joined its advisory board.

Siamak Namazi brings profound insight into the ordeal of hostages, having endured years of unlawful imprisonment in Iran. His harrowing story began in 2015 when he was accused of subversion and unlawfully detained in Evin prison. Despite being left behind in a 2016 prisoner swap, he remained resilient. Siamak became the longest-held Iranian-American prisoner, drawing international attention.

During his captivity, Siamak also knew the anguish of having a loved one held hostage when his father was arbitrarily arrested while visiting him, and both were sentenced to 10 years for allegedly collaborating with a foreign government. His determination was evident when he went on a hunger strike in January 2023, marking the seventh anniversary of being left behind. In March 2023, he made a direct plea to President Biden from Evin Prison via CNN. Finally, on September 18, 2023, after 2989 days of being Iran’s hostage, Siamak was among five Americans released in a prisoner exchange between the United States and Iran.

Prior to this ordeal, his career spanned various sectors, including consulting and non-profit work. He provided assistance to major multinationals in strategy development, market entry, and external affairs across the MENA region while also engaging in track-2 diplomacy and championing human rights initiatives.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure to have Siamak join Hostage Aid; from prison mates to friends and now colleagues, we will fight together to help others navigate and survive hostage diplomacy,” said Nizar Zakka, President of Hostage Aid Worldwide. “Siamak’s exceptional resilience in the face of the injustice he and his family were dealt, brings invaluable awareness to our mission.”

Hostage Aid Worldwide is a non-profit founded in September 2020 by former hostages like Siamak himself, their families, and experts. It advocates for the safe return of individuals wrongfully detained or held hostage globally.

Siamak Namazi’s addition to the advisory board enhances Hostage Aid Worldwide’s commitment to leveraging personal knowledge and experience in its ongoing efforts to address the critical issue of hostage-taking and wrongful detention.