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US resident freed by Iran to Trump: ‘Get back your hostages’

A Lebanese man and permanent US resident who was released after spending years in an Iranian prison calls on US President Donald Trump and Western countries to “please get back your hostages from Iran.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Nizar Zakka says he was subjected to “all kinds of torture,” both physical and mental, during his detention in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, including standing on one leg for hours, extended periods of interrogation and lack of food.

“Nobody on earth deserves such suffering,” he says.

Nizar Zakka a Lebanese citizen and permanent US resident who was released in Tehran after nearly four years in jail on charges of spying, during an interview with The Associated Press at a hotel in Dbayeh, north of Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Zakka, an information technology expert, was arrested in Iran in September 2015 while trying to fly out of Tehran. He had just attended a conference there at the invitation of one of the country’s vice presidents. The following year, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison after authorities accused him of being an American spy — allegations he and his associates vigorously reject. He was released Tuesday and flew back to his native Lebanon.

— AP

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