May 30, 2014, Washington, D.C. – Iranian American Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a decorated U.S. Marine with two combat tours in Afghanistan, has been detained in Mexico for gun charges.
According to media reports, Tahmooressi made a wrong turn at a poorly marked crossing and was arrested by Mexican border officials who found three legally purchased and registered firearms in his truck. He has been in custody since April 1st and charged with weapons trafficking.
Tahmooressi’s family has expressed deep concern concerning his safety in prison and has initiated a White House petition for the administration’s support. According to his mother, Tahmooressi, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, has faced death and rape threats and has had his hands and feet shackled.
The State Department has confirmed that Secretary John Kerry has raised Tahmooressi’s situation with Mexican officials this week. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a press briefing that Tahmooressi has been visited 11 times by U.S. consular officers.
Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has lobbied the administration to push for Tahmooressi’s release. Other lawmakers have also weighed in to bring attention to this matter. “We should use our diplomatic influence to ensure that they know this matters to us, and I hope the White House will do that,” explained Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in an interview on Fox News.
PAAIA is seriously concerned about reports of Tahmooressi’s mistreatment by the authorities in Mexico. PAAIA supports respect for human rights, the rule of law, and due process for all peoples and in all countries, and is urging the U.S. State Department to fully investigate this matter and bring an expeditious resolution regarding the release and return of Tahmooressi to the United States.
Click here to sign White House petition in support of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi.