Siamak Namazi, James Kamara Sami, Anush Asuri discussed on BBC Newshour


To NewsHour from the BBC World Service coming to you live from London with James Kamara Sami. It's been quite a journey for anush asuri. This time last year, the londoner was entering his 5th year in an Iranian jail. Today, the 68 year old finished the London marathon 7 months after he was freed alongside his fellow dual British Iranian national nazanin sagari ratcliffe. They were released after the British government repaid a long-standing debt to Iran, and the authorities in Tehran have hinted that unfreezing Iranian assets could make Saturday's temporary release of a U.S. Iranian dual national, siamak namazi, more permanent. Or mister asuri spoke to me soon after, he had finished his first marathon. So how did it go? Very well. Although my son had tested positive and he couldn't come along with me, but I'm the international assigned another friend, Ben. And Ben was accompanying me and I knew he was amazing as a coroner. And I think I did just under 5 hours. I'm not sure four hours and some because my mobile diet. So I have to check. Well, congratulations. And did you think you'd do it? Were you confident? 90% confident, but there's always that chance of my niece giving way. Luckily, it didn't happen. And you were running Amnesty for two charities. Charities. International and Amnesty International, I think we have raised something in excess of 15,000 pounds. Now, you started running, I think, while you were in prison in Iran. Well, my timing of interest and can be divided into two phases, phase one was when I was in the interrogation centers. And when I was transferred to the main compound where I could meet other people. There were a group of people who participated in exercises. I asked if I could join and they welcomed me and part of those exercises involved running. And I discovered that I wouldn't take ten minutes before I went short of breath. But then I persevered and it became 15 minutes then it became 20 minutes and ultimately the time slot that we were allowed to run in this gym was two hours. And I managed to run two hours nonstop. That day I treated everybody to cake. Yeah, and that day this friend who had a 19 year sentence on him. He's a satoris. And he gave me a book which is written by haruki murakami, the Japanese writer, who is also a marathon runner. And I read that book and it inspired me and I said to myself, why not? Of course I don't know what I think about when I'm running. Exactly. And then I took it seriously. And I thought, perhaps, on paper, I should be released 5 years from now. If not later, because I was given another indictment, dissemination of falsehood that would perhaps add another two or three years on top of that. So the idea, as you say, you're reflecting on the fact that you could still be serving another 5 years, but you're out and you have finished the London marathon. What does it mean to you? It means that my dream has come true. And I wonder what you're thinking at the moment as you look at what is happening in Iran. The women taking to the streets, the crowds of people, men as well in support of women removing the hejab and not having to undergo mistreatment at the hands of the morality police. Originally, I had in mind to run to do some social awareness and fundraising for these two charity organizations. And also express my solidarity with the people I have left behind in Evan prison. In view of the recent events, then I decided to dedicate this run to the women's movement in Iran, and by women's movement, we don't mean only women. It is women's movement and men are actually supporting women. And this is such a beautiful thing that is happening. This has never happened during the past 43 years. Now you mentioned your fellow detainees in Evan prison, father and son, baccar and siamak namazi, who were released one father was released for medical treatment and the son has been released on a temporary basis. Do you know them? Not the father, but CMS is a fantastic person. We met in the library and in fact, when I was released, he came to participate in my send off. Whatever I say about him won't be enough. He is kind. He is knowledgeable. He's been allowed out for a week and that there's talk maybe if much larger funds in your case are released, maybe he will be released permanently. What are your thoughts? I really hope so. I mean, he didn't even have a fellow. For example, I had two fellows, although they were only 5 days, but at least I saw the world outside having prison in Tehran. But he even didn't have that privilege. And I really hope that this will come into fruition and he and his father will be released and returned back home. Anush Azure X detainee in the Evan present in Tehran turned marathon runner and a slightly misremembered the title of that hiroki Mara kami book that inspired him is actually called what I talk about when I talk

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