You are free to criticize the government here in America. However, those freedoms do not extend the world over. Michael White, unfortunately learned that the hard way. In 2018, the 48 year old went to Iran to visit his girlfriend. Iranian police detained the Navy Veteran in relation to multiple alleged crimes.The main charge was insulting Iran's top leader. He also posted a private photograph, publicly. The photo was of him and the woman he went to visit, an Iranian national. There were two separate hearings that lead to a sentence of over a decade in jail.There were several suspicious factors in Michael's case. First, the court appointed lawyer did not speak English. Second, the charges were vague and not elaborated on. The US-Iranian relations were at a boiling point in 2018, and communication was breaking down. This may have lead to more deliberate prosecutions of Americans.
An allied nation helps Mr. White
The current relations between Iran and the US are still tense. In fact, the US used Switzerland to help in these negotiations. In March, White was transported to the Swiss embassy in Iran. Once there, he tested positive for the coronavirus. He received medical care before waiting months to board a plane back to the US.However, this was not an act of benevolence by Iran. In exchange, they received an Iranian scientist named Dr. Sirous Asgari. ICE detained the doctor on suspicions of "circumventing US trade sanctions," but he was acquitted by a US court in 2019. After Asgari was returned, White was allowed to leave Iran.White, originally from California, spent 13 years in the US Navy. His mother has been among his biggest advocates, and has been very vocal in her relief he is heading home.What do you think of situation? Was White's imprisonment unfair? Sound off in the comments below!