Zakka asks MPs to dis­cuss case in House ses­sion

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - LEBANON -

BEIRUT: Nizar Zakka, a Le­banese de­tainee in an Ira­nian prison, called on law­mak­ers Fri­day to add his case as an “ur­gent” item on next week’s leg­isla­tive agenda, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter shared with The Daily Star Fri­day.

“Isn’t it about time to place my case in your dis­cus­sions and ses­sions and to ques­tion the gov­ern­ment over ig­nor­ing me for the last three con­sec­u­tive years?” he wrote.

Par­lia­ment is set to con­vene for a two-day leg­isla­tive ses­sion next Mon­day and Tues­day. He also called on Par­lia­ment to ques­tion the care­taker gov­ern­ment’s “neg­li­gence” in fol­low­ing up on his case, and for the case to be in­cluded as part of the next Cab­i­net’s pol­icy state­ment.

Zakka, a Le­banese ci­ti­zen who also holds per­ma­nent res­i­dency in the U.S., was ar­rested in 2015 af­ter trav­el­ing to Iran to at­tend a state­spon­sored con­fer­ence. At the time of his ar­rest, Zakka was the sec­re­tary­gen­eral of IJMA3 and had re­ceived an of­fi­cial in­vi­ta­tion to visit Iran.

Zakka’s fam­ily has re­peat­edly crit­i­cized the Le­banese gov­ern­ment and of­fi­cials, say­ing that they are not do­ing enough to se­cure the re­lease of a Le­banese ci­ti­zen and crit­i­ciz­ing the state’s fail­ure to re­lease an of­fi­cial state­ment de­nounc­ing Zakka’s de­ten­tion.

He ad­dressed Le­banese law­mak­ers, say­ing, “You are re­quested to cor­rect this mis­take that was com­mit­ted against me … start­ing by plac­ing my case as an ur­gent item on Mon­day’s ses­sion, is­sue a con­dem­na­tion state­ment and rec­om­mend mak­ing my de­ten­tion a par­lia­men­tary and min­is­te­rial pri­or­ity.” – The Daily Star

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