Reza “Robin” Shahini
July 11, 2016 – San Diego resident Reza “Robin” Shahini is arrested while visiting family in Gorgan, Iran. Shahini is a dual US-Iranian citizen.
October 2016 – Shahini is sentenced to 18 years in prison.
December 2016 – Vafadari’s family announces that Karan Vafadari and his wife Afarin Niasari were detained at Tehran airport in July. Vafadari, an Iranian-American, and Niasari, a green-card holder, ran an art gallery in Tehran.
January 2018 – Vafadari is sentenced to 27 years in prison. Niasari was sentenced to 16 years.
July 16, 2017 – The semi-official news agency Fars News, citing a video statement from Iranian judicial spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejheie, reports that a US citizen has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of spying. Princeton University identifies the man as Chinese-born Xiyue Wang, an American citizen and graduate student in history. According to a university statement, Wang was arrested in Iran last summer while doing scholarly research in connection with his Ph.D. dissertation.
October 2015 – Kim, a naturalized American, is taken into custody after allegedly meeting a source to obtain a USB stick and camera used to gather military secrets. In January 2016, Kim is given permission to speak with CNN by North Korean officials, and asks that the United States or South Korea rescue him.
April 29, 2016 – A North Korean official tells CNN that Kim has been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor for subversion and espionage.
May 7, 2017 – The state-run Korean Central News Agency reports that US citizen Kim Hak-song was detained in North Korea on May 6 on suspicion of “hostile acts” against the regime. The regime describes Kim as “a man who was doing business in relation to the operation of Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.”
April 22, 2017 – US citizen Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kim, is detained by authorities at Pyongyang International Airport for unknown reasons. Kim taught for several weeks at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.
Turkey has carried out a widespread purge since a failed military coup in July 2016, detaining tens of thousands of people, including several non-diplomatic US citizens, it accuses of having links to Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for orchestrating the coup attempt. Gulen has denied involvement in the coup. Ankara has repeatedly pressured Washington to extradite Gulen since the coup, and the issue has become a major thorn in relations.
October 2016 – Brunson, a North Carolina native, is arrested in Izmir on Turkey’s Aegean coast, where he is pastor at the Izmir Resurrection Church. Brunson, an evangelical Presbyterian pastor, is later charged with plotting to overthrow the Turkish government, disrupting the constitutional order and espionage.
July 2016 – While on holiday in Turkey, Golge is arrested and accused of having links to the Gulenist movement. Golge is a 37-year-old NASA physicist who holds dual Turkish-US citizenship.
February 8, 2018 – Golge is sentenced to 7.5 years in prison.
Formerly Detained Americans
December 2009 – Alan Gross is jailed while working as a subcontractor on a US Agency for International Development project aimed at spreading democracy. His actions are deemed illegal by Cuban authorities. He is accused of trying to set up illegal Internet connections on the island. Gross says he was trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet and was not a threat to the government.
March 12, 2011 – Gross is found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against the Cuban state.
September 7-14, 2011 – Bill Richardson visits Cuba on a private mission to win the release of jailed American contractor Alan Gross. He is unsuccessful.
Democratic Republic of Congo:
April 24, 2016 – Lewis, a security adviser working in Katanga, is taken into custody and accused of mercenary activities. According to the US Embassy in Kinshasa, he was not armed and the allegations against him are false. He is released June 8, 2016.
16 American NGO Employees
December 2011 – Egyptian authorities carry out 17 raids on the offices of 10 nongovernmental organizations. The Egyptian general prosecutor’s office claims the raids were part of an investigation into allegations the groups had received illegal foreign financing and were operating without a proper license.
February 5, 2012 – Forty-three people, including 19 Americans, face prosecution in an Egyptian criminal court on charges of illegal foreign funding as part of an ongoing crackdown on NGOs. The defendants include 19 Americans, five Serbs, two Germans, three Arabs and Egyptians. Among the American defendants is Sam LaHood, International Republican Institute country director and the son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
February 15, 2012 – US State Dept. confirms there are 16 Americans being held not 19 as the Egyptian government had announced.
February 26, 2012 – Formal reading of the charges against the NGOs. None of the sixteen detained Americans appears in court.
February 29, 2012 – The travel ban is lifted.
March 1, 2012 – A group from the 43 detainees including American, Norwegian, German, Serbian and Palestinian activists leave Cairo after each posted 2 million Egyptian pounds bail.
March 8, 2012 – Trial resumes and is adjourned until April 10. Robert Becker, an employee of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), is the lone American to appear in court.
April 10, 2012 – Trial is adjourned.
April 20, 2012 – CNN is told Egyptian officials have filed global arrest notices with Interpol for some of the Americans involved in the NGO trial.
June 5, 2012 – The trial resumes and among the defendants to appear in court are two Americans; Sherif Mansour, a recently naturalized American citizen born in Egypt and former employee of Freedom House, and Robert Becker, formerly with National Democratic Institute (NDI).
September 26, 2012 – According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Saeed Abedini, an American Christian pastor who was born in Iran and lives in Idaho, is detained in Iran. The group says that Abedini’s charges stem from his conversion to Christianity from Islam 13 years ago and his activities with home churches in Iran.
Amir Mirzaei Hekmati
August, 2011 – Hekmati travels to Iran to visit relatives and gets detained by authorities, according to his family. His arrest isn’t made public for months.
December 17, 2011 – Iran’s Intelligence Ministry claims to have arrested an Iranian-American working as a CIA agent, according to state-run Press TV.
December 19, 2011 – The US State Dept. confirms the identity of the man detained in Iran and calls for his immediate release.
December 20, 2011 – Hekmati’s family says that Hekmati was arrested in August while visiting relatives in Iran. The family asserts that they remained quiet about the arrest at the urging of Iranian officials who promised his release.
December 27, 2011 – Hekmati’s trial begins in Iran. Prosecutors accuse Hekmati of entering Iran with the intention of infiltrating the country’s intelligence system in order to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorist activities, according to the Fars news agency.
January 9, 2012 – An Iranian news agency reports that Hekmati is convicted of “working for an enemy country,” as well as membership in the CIA and “efforts to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism.” He is sentenced to death.
End of January 2012 – Behnaz Hekmati, Amir Hekmati’s mother, travels to Iran alone and sees her son, according to sources close to the family.
July 24, 2014 – The Washington Post reports that its Tehran correspondent and Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian, his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two freelance journalists were detained on July 22, 2014. An Iranian official confirmed to CNN that the group is being held by authorities. The official did not say what they have been charged with.
August 20, 2014 – The Washington Post reports the photojournalist detained with Rezaian in July has been released. At her family’s request, the Post declines to publish her name.
October 6, 2014 – According to the Washington Post, Rezaian’s wife, Yeganeh Salehi, has been released on bail.
April 20, 2015 – According the Washington Post, Rezaian is being charged with espionage and other serious crimes including “collaborating with a hostile government” and “propaganda against the establishment.”
May 1, 2018 – Joins CNN as a global affairs analyst.
July 31, 2009 – Three graduates from the University of California at Berkeley, Sarah Shourd of Oakland, California, Shane Bauer, of Emeryville, California, and Joshua Fattal, of Cottage Grove, Oregon, are detained in Iran after hiking along the unmarked Iran-Iraq border in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region.
October 2009 – The Iranian government allows a Swiss diplomat to visit them at Evin Prison.
November 9, 2009 – Iran charges the three with espionage.
December 14, 2009 – The Iranian Foreign Minister of Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki states the three will stand trial.
February 2, 2010 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces the possibility of an exchange for Iranians serving sentences in America.
February 3, 2010 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says that there are no negotiations taking place between Washington, DC and Iran regarding prisoner exchanges.
March 9, 2010 – The families of the three detained hikers speak by phone to the hikers for the first time since they were jailed.
May 20, 2010 – The detainees’ mothers are allowed to visit their children.
May 21, 2010 – The mothers are allowed a second visit, and the detained hikers speak publicly for the first time at a government-controlled news conference.
August 1, 2010 – Iran restates the three should be tried for illegal entry.
August 5, 2010 – Reports surface that Shourd is being denied medical treatment.
September 14, 2010 – Sarah Shourd is released on humanitarian grounds from Evin Prison on $500,000 bail.
November 6, 2010 – Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd are scheduled for trial on charges of spying in Iran’s Revolution Court, but the trial is postponed.
November 27, 2010 – Two days after Thanksgiving, Fattal and Bauer are allowed to call home for the second time. Each call lasts about five minutes.
January 31, 2011 – Iran issues a summons for Shourd to return to Tehran for a trial on espionage charges. The trial is scheduled for February 6, 2011.
May 4, 2011 – Shourd announces she will not return to Tehran to face espionage charges in a court hearing scheduled later in the month.
May 11, 2011 – The trial is delayed again after the suspects are not brought from the prison to the courthouse.
July 31, 2011 – Fattal and Bauer’s final hearing takes place as closing arguments are presented.
August 20, 2011 – Fattal and Bauer each receive five years for spying and three years for illegal entry, according to state-run TV. They have 20 days to appeal.
August 28, 2011 – Attorney Masoud Shafiee announces that he has filed an appeal in the case. He says it could take from a few days to few months for the court to respond.
September 13, 2011 – President Ahmadinejad tells NBC, “We tried last year to free one of the three persons and we are also trying to make arrangements for the freedom of the other two. I think these two persons will be freed in a couple of days.” Fattal and Bauer will be released from Tehran’s Evin prison after a $500,000 bail is paid for each of them, their attorney, Masoud Shafiee, says.
September 14, 2011 – A Western diplomat tells CNN an Omani official is en route to Tehran to help negotiate the release of Fattal and Bauer. Oman helped secure the release of Sarah Shourd in 2010.
September 25, 2011 – Fattal and Bauer arrive back in the United States.
December 11, 2012 – US officials confirm that American citizen Kenneth Bae has been detained in North Korea for over a month.
August 30, 2013 – North Korea rescinds its invitation for King to travel to North Korea and try to secure the release of Bae.
October 11, 2013 – Kenneth Bae meets with his mother in North Korea. This is the first time his family has been able to see him for almost a year since Bae’s November 3 arrest.
June 6, 2014 – North Korea announces it has detained US citizen Jeffrey Edward Fowle, who entered the country as a tourist in April. Fowle was part of a tour group and was detained in mid-May after leaving a bible in a restaurant.
January 25, 2010 – Aijalon Mahli Gomes, of Boston, is detained in North Korea after crossing into the country illegally from China. He had formerly taught English in South Korea.
July 10, 2010 – Gomes is hospitalized after attempting to commit suicide.
Prior to this event, no Americans had ever been tried in North Korea‘s Supreme Court.
March 17, 2009 – Journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling cross into North Korea, are apprehended by North Korean soldiers, and charged with illegal entry to conduct a smear campaign.
June 4, 2009 – They are sentenced to 12 years hard labor in a North Korean prison with no forgiveness and no appeal allowed.
May 18, 2010 – Laura Ling and sister Lisa Ling’s book, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home”, is published.
September 28, 2010 – Euna Lee’s book, “The World Is Bigger Now: An American Journalist’s Release from Captivity in North Korea . . . A Remarkable Story of Faith, Family, and Forgiveness,” is published.
April 25, 2014 – North Korea’s news agency reports that Matthew Todd Miller was taken into custody on April 10. According to KCNA, Miller entered North Korea seeking asylum and had torn up his tourist visa.
October 26, 2013 – Merrill Newman of Palo Alto, California, is detained in North Korea, according to his family. Just minutes before his plane is to depart, Newman is removed from the flight by North Korean authorities, his family says.
November 22, 2013 – The US State Department says North Korea has confirmed to Swedish diplomats that it is holding an American citizen. The State Department has declined to confirm the identity of the citizen, citing privacy issues, but the family of Merrill Newman says the Korean War veteran and retired financial consultant has been detained since October.
Eddie Yong Su Jun
April 12, 2011 – An American man has been detained by North Korean authorities, State Department officials tell CNN. A diplomatic source familiar with the case says the man entered North Korea in November.
April 14, 2011 – The KCNA reports that US citizen Eddie Yong Su Jun was arrested in November 2010 and has been under investigation for committing a crime against North Korea. No details are provided on the alleged crime.
April 2011 – North Korean says Yong Su Jun has admitted his crime. The specific nature of the crime has not been revealed.
January 2, 2016 – Warmbier, a University of Virginia college student, is detained in North Korea after being accused of a “hostile act” against the government.
June 19, 2017 – Warmbier’s family issues a statement that he has died.
April 24, 2013 – Timothy Hallett Tracy, of Los Angeles, is arrested at the Caracas airport, according to Reporters Without Borders. Tracy traveled to Venezuela to make a documentary about the political division gripping the country.
April 26, 2013 – State Dept. spokesman Patrick Ventrell confirms the arrest of an American in Caracas but declines to comment on the specifics of the case. He says the accusations are the latest in a series of allegations in recent weeks made by the Venezuelan government that “foreign actors” are attempting to influence political developments in the country.