Iran and its top leader sued in DC federal court on alleged unlawful torture and other illicit acts


Iran, the IRGC and its Supreme Leader, Seyed Ali Khamenei, were sued by Mr. Akbar Lakestani, a dual citizen of Iran and the United States, of alleged unlawful detention and torture while visiting Iran in 2019.

Washington, DC September 03, 2021 – ( – Mr. Akbar Lakestani, an Iranian-American journalist and human rights activist, filed a complaint (Case #: 1: 21-cv-2232) against the Islamic Republic of Iran, Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ( IRGC) and IRGC Commander in Chief Hossein Salami for alleged hostage-taking, torture, denial and delay of medical treatment, attempts to coerced false confessions, denial of due process and others assaulted him.

The following six paragraphs quote some of the allegations in the complaint:

Mr. Lakestani traveled to Iran from the United States in September 2019 to visit his elderly mother. While crossing the border from Turkey to Iran, he was arrested by Iranian law enforcement agencies and accused of speaking out against the Iranian regime. He has been repeatedly blindfolded and taken to various detention centers, denied his diabetes medication, and interrogated.

After he was transferred to the IRGC-controlled Urmia Central Prison in October 2019, he was taken to a hall with inmates charged with violent crimes. Due to the unsafe detention conditions, Mr. Lakestani unsuccessfully asked to be placed in solitary confinement. He was then charged with collaborating with anti-regime groups and insulting the Supreme Leader.

Mr. Lakestani went on several hunger strikes in response to unsafe detention conditions. After he passed out on a hunger strike, he was taken to Imam Khomei Hospital. There, the authorities beat him while his hands and feet were handcuffed to the hospital bed. He was also injected with an unknown substance that rendered him unconscious and transferred to a detained section of the hospital that was windowless and visibly unsanitary.

Then he was transferred to the Razi Psychiatric Hospital, where he was taken to the most dangerous ward with violent and unstable patients. He was given drugs that he was not prescribed or known to, which resulted in excessive sleep. His hands and feet were cuffed so tightly that there was severe shoulder pain, and his feet were bleeding and sore.

News of his arrest spread on November 13, 2019 and he was temporarily released on bail. After he was interrogated at least six times by the Iranian authorities, he fled Iran and returned to the United States in February 2020.

Today, Mr. Lakestani continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, sleep disorder and extreme physical pain caused by his hostage-taking and torture by Iran and its agents.

This case is being brought under the Terrorism Exemption of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) in the US District Court for the District of Columbia by Mr. Lakestani’s attorney, Mr. Ali Herischi of Herischi & Associates, LLC. Mr. Lakestani is seeking damages and punitive damages. Mr. Herischi hopes that “this case will draw attention to the systematic human rights violations and domestic terrorism by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps”.

Ali Herischi, Esq.
Herischi & Associates, LLC.
(301) 363-4540
[email protected]

Contact information:
Herischi & Associates LLC
Ali Herischi
Contact by email

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