Friends and family members started taking action and sharing their kind words about Baquer and Siamak Namazi, in order to emphasise what kind-hearted and loving people they are.
December 13, 2016: An emotional note by Baquer's niece/Siamak's cousin
"To all those who are unjustly holding Baquer and Siamak Namazi
I wonder who you are, where you came from, out of which shell did you crawl? You call yourselves Iranian, but are you really? What values do you hold as Iranian, as Islamic? Who gives you power, legitimises your actions and allows you to act with impunity?
They are not the same values I grew up with, nor are they the values I have seen in my country Iran. Do you really protect the Iranian nation or do you abuse my people? While my country wants change and development, you want to keep them chained. After 35 years you have still not learnt, you can not create change through force.
You accuse innocent people of espionage, but you wait for the opportunity to take advantage of these relationships yourselves. At the end of the day, it is only power for you, it has never been about the Iranian nation, it has been about your gain, fearing others will take this from you.
Isn’t it easy to make these claims and statements, isn’t it easy for others to play your game? You think only you can do it. You think only you can make videos, make accusations and force false statements out of people. This game you play, is a game for cowards. As tempting as it and revenge is, it is a game for narrow minded people, it has not been a game my family play.
You see as much as you accuse my family and try to discredit us, we know where we come from, we know who we are, we know that our efforts for our country have not been in vain. I never met my grandfather, but his legacy lives on deep in each of us. The ideals he stood for as a Professor of Theology and Islam was to seek truth and dialogue. He studied in the holy city of Najaf and later taught Islamic Studies in Calcutta University and was the leader of the Shiites in Calcutta.
Through his legacy, we learnt responsibility, hard work and righteousness. This was passed through the generations. Although my family grew up outside Iran, my father, his brothers and sisters all returned to Iran, feeling it was their duty to help our country develop. In turn, the second generation were educated outside Iran, and many of us too followed in these footsteps, to return to our home country. We could have gone and worked anywhere, lived a much more comfortable life, but we chose to return to our country.
You accuse us of espionage, of relationships with the west, but you omit all the good we have done in creating jobs, in creating a culture of ethical conduct, of encouraging many Iranians to stay in Iran and others to return to Iran.
My 80 year Amu Baquer has been a pillar of encouragement, love and compassion to so many people inside and outside Iran. A true humanitarian, you will not find a single person who speaks poorly of him. His colleagues in UNICEF pay tribute to his humanitarian work and his efforts in under developed countries to eradicate poverty. And when he does this in Iran, you accuse him of espionage? Because he worked to help the poor in my country?
My cousin Siamak Namazi, returned to Iran after his studies in the US, he returned and did his military service in Iran, he did not have to do that. Most Iranian men I knew paid to NOT do their military service, but Siamak wanted to get to know Iran better. He worked in the ministry of housing for a short time to improve living conditions and urban planning. He worked as a consultant in our company, he created a strong culture of ethics and accountability. Whoever worked with him said they learnt professionalism and work ethics from him. And even when he left Iran, news of the hardships on Iranians due to sanctions, he researched and produced a report saying sanctions hurt the Iranian people, sanctions on medical supplies means my countrymen do not receive medicine for cancer and other life threatening diseases.
When the world acknowledges our fellow-Iranians for their work, instead of being proud of our achievements, you accuse us as threats. What does this say about you? When I, as a fellow Iranian see and hear what you do, I wonder if you are Iranian? I wonder what your motive is? Who do you work for? What do you stand for? What are you hiding behind? It seems to me that you hide behind a veil of fear and ignorance. You are not Iranian, you are not Islamic, you do not show righteousness, compassion and you do not seek truth.
But you, like me are a product of Iran. It is my country, it is the country of my father and his father, it is a country I am proud of and a country I love. If you truly believe in your ideals, if you truly care for my people and my country, then I invite you to take responsibility and courage for your actions. Can you do that?
The first step is to expedite the release of the dual nationals you are holding prisoner in our country. I urge you to act with honour, with righteousness, with Iranian and Islamic values and do something for the good of the Iranian people".
November 23, 2016: A group of students from Tufts University reached out to the Namazi family through touching letters
November 14, 2016, Siamak’s Sentiments in Evin Prison
Siamak Namazi has been unjustly in Evin prison since mid-October 2015. In one of the recent communications, he said that his situation can be described by a Persian poem written by Massoud Saad Salman.
The original Persian piece is a long poem and can be found here (http://ganjoor.net/masood/divan-masood/ghasidemk/sh212/), but below we have included some free translations of the key passages in the hope that Siamak’s and also Baquer’s ordeal will come to an end soon:
Faced with a thousand sorrows
In each breath I see the end
No sin, no indignity, I am the prisoner
Trouble sought me, unjustified
The stars have sworn to harm me
The sky has come to greet me
Each day a graver pain than the last
Each year a soul more weak than before
My treasured friends surrounded me
And now where have they gone?
The night sky howls in sadness
Hearing my weeps outdrawn
Why have I landed here, imprisoned,
When I am neither thief nor foe?
All hope I had before
Where can I find you now?
You who've composed my destiny
Let mercy be your marker
October 30, 2016: A message from a University friend of Siamak
"I know Siamak Namazi from the almost two years we spent together at London Business School pursuing our Executive MBA's. From the beginning I, along with the rest of our classmates knew that Sia was special. He was certainly one of the sharpest people in our group but also displayed this dry and witty sense of humor which put others at ease and made us enjoy his company.
However, these weren't his most endearing qualities. What was truly remarkable about Sia was the way he thought about fairness, equity, justice, balance and morality. Very early during the tenure of our program, he spoke up unprovoked for everyone when he questioned one of our professors about a matter which seemed wholly unfair to everyone, but which no one had the courage to say anything about. He was fearless in his arguments, but he was also completely logical in such a way that he was able to make a meaningful impact for the whole class. After that time, we continued to look towards him for inspiration and thought leadership in matters that had to do with our overall standing and communication with the school.
On a personal level, he always spoke lovingly and longingly about his homeland. Discussions were never political in nature. They were only ever from a cultural dimension. It is deeply saddening to know that he is being held captive, and we are hoping and praying for his prompt release."
October 24, 2016: A message from Baquer's sister-in-law
"We have been heart broken and numb after hearing the outcome of the court sentencing them to 10 years each on trumped up charges against them. We cannot imagine what Effie joon and Babak are going through.
When I came to Iran as a young woman engaged to his younger brother he stood in for my parents. He informed of all my rights and entitlements. He was the kindest brother -in-law one would hope to have. He has supported me through my 51 years of marriage to his brother Hushang Namazie.
He is the most honest and caring person who has all his adult life helped family and refugees all over the world.
We all love them both and pray for their release."
October 23, 2016: A message from Baquer's sister
"My beloved brother Baquer Namazie and nephew Siamak Namazie are both in prison under false accusations.
People around the world are protesting this decision and talking about what an extraordinary man Baquer is. I want to tell the world what kind of a kid he was, too. I have a lot of great memories about our childhood, but this one is one of my favourite…
When I was very young, Baquer took my sister and I to the movies. Baquer too was very young at the time, first year in college. We were living in India at the time. During those days, streetcars were called “trams” and the conductor would come to you to collect your fare.
That night the conductor forgot to collect our fare, and when we exited the streetcar Baquer suddenly remembered. He ran after the streetcar as fast as he could and to the utter shock of the conductor, told him that he hadn’t taken any money from us. This is the kind of honest person he was and still is. Right through our lives he was not just a great brother to us all, but also a friend. Everybody loves Baquer and Siamak!"
October 19, 2016: A message from Baquer's grand-nephew
"My dear family,
In the past year our family has been through what we believed to be, our darkest time in history. The events that have transpired this week have left us all frightened, scared and confused. We were left without the prospect of hope.
Hope is what gives us the ability to wake up in the morning and fight for what we believe in.
Most will associate Siamak Namazi as a businessman. To others he was a loving Uncle and a caring Son. As for Baquer Namazi, he is a humanitarian and a loving Husband, father and grandfather. He is an Angel. No one can refute this and no one ever will.
I have always kept quiet about my feeling and offered only minor support roles in situations like this. No more!
I would like to personally offer my unconditional love, help and support to anyone in need of it.
My father always tells me “ In times like this our bond as a family must be stronger than ever.” Only now do I fully understand the scope of what he meant.
We must all stand together at this time. Not just for support, but for hope.
These are our darkest days. Despite this, we are a family. We are all one. (Amu Baquer taught me that). I believe that together we can get through this as we have before.
I love each and every one of you more than you can imagine and again anything I can do please do not hesitate to ask.
Never give up on hope. Never stop fighting."