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Marine veteran files lawsuit claiming torture while imprisoned in Iran

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Amir of Flint has filed a lawsuit against the government of Iran, saying he was tortured while in custody in Iran on false allegations that he was a spy for the U.S.

, a U.S. Marine veteran imprisoned in Iran for 4 1/2 years, was released in January and arrived back in Flint. Born in Arizona to immigrants from Iran, had been visiting Iran in 2011 to see his grandmother and relatives, said the lawsuit filed this week.

was falsely imprisoned and tortured for a period of four and a half years by Defendant The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, its Ministries, Agencies, and Instrumentalities,” reads the federal lawsuit filed inWashington, D.C. “On August 29, 2011, just two days before he was scheduled to return home to Michigan, Mr. was arrested and imprisoned by Iranian officials without warning as he was getting ready to attend a family holiday celebration.”

The lawsuit said “ suffered prolonged and continuous physical abuse at the hands of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence.”

“The torture that Mr. endured included being whipped at the bottom of his feet, struck by an electrical Taser to his kidney area, forced to stay in stress positions for hours at a time, and hit with batons. Prison guards threw water on his cell floor to prevent him from sleeping. A very bright light was kept on 24 hours a day to invoke sensory deprivation.”

The torture included being forced to take addictive drugs, which then were abruptly stopped, said the lawsuit.

captors would force him to take lithium and other addictive pills and then stop giving him the pills to invoke withdrawal symptoms. He was denied proper medical care and suffered severe malnutrition. Mr. also suffered extreme and continuous psychological torture. He had virtually no human contact for 17 months.”

An official with the Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran, part of Pakistan’s Embassy in the U.S., could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. A representative for did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Contact Niraj Warikoo: nwarikoo@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @nwarikoo

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