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A US federal judge ordered Iran to pay $34.8 million to the family of a journalist and outspoken Iranian government critic who was tortured and purportedly committed suicide in 2011 while living under house arrest in Tehran, Bloomberg reported.

Judge John D. Bates of the US District Court for the District of Columbia awarded $17.4 million in compensatory damages and an equal amount in punitive damages to the wife and daughters of Siamak Pourzand, who spent a decade in Iranian prisons and under home arrest despite pleas for fair treatment and release by international human rights agencies.

In an extensive opinion released Friday, Bates held Iran liable for hostage taking and torture under the terrorism exception to sovereign immunity in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

It is noted that Iran directly killed Pourzand.

In 2002, Pourzand was sentenced to 11 years in prison, particularly on charges of espionage and inciting corruption.

 

 

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