Statement from the Levinson Family on March 9, 2020

Thirteen years ago, our beloved husband and father, Robert Levinson, was detained by Iranian authorities while visiting Kish Island, Iran, beginning a nightmare for him and for our family that continues to this day. 

On this anniversary, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia has found that the Iranian regime is responsible for what happened to him.  This case was extremely emotional for everyone involved, including the Court, and we wish to acknowledge all those who worked on it.   We will continue to do everything in our power to seek justice for our husband and father. 

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Statement from the Levinson Family on the Release of Xiyue Wang

We welcome the release of Xiyue Wang and send our best wishes to him, his wife, Hua Wu and their young son, who will finally get to see his father again. This is a day they have long hoped for, but this news is bittersweet for our family. Robert Levinson, our husband and father, has been held hostage for nearly 13 years – longer than any other American. We can’t help but be extremely disappointed that, despite all its efforts, the United States government was unable to secure his release as well, especially after such a painful week for our family. Iranian authorities continue to play a cruel game with our father’s life, and with our family. But the world knows the truth, and Iranian leadership must come clean. It is time for Iran to send Bob Levinson home, so he can live the rest of his life in peace. We look forward to when that day will come.

Statement From the Levinson Family Regarding the $20 Million Reward for Information Leading to the Return of Robert Levinson

From the family of Robert Levinson, America’s longest-held hostage –

Today the United States announced a $20 million reward for information leading to the safe location, recovery and return of Robert Levinson – our husband and father – who was abducted while visiting Kish Island, Iran, on March 9, 2007. Combined with the $5 million reward already in place from the FBI, this makes a total of $25 million available to the person or persons providing this information.

This sends a clear message from our government of how important it is that Bob Levinson be returned to his family and friends who love him. All the Iranian authorities need to do is send him home.

To the individuals in Iran and elsewhere who know where Bob Levinson is, or have information that will bring him back to us, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, or email [email protected] All we care about is having him home, so he can live the rest of his life in peace.

This is the 40th anniversary of the day in 1979 when 52 Americans were taken hostage and held for 444 days. Bob Levinson has been held more than 10 times longer – for 4624 days. Bob Levinson must come home, and Iran’s hostage-taking as government policy must end.

We wish to express our deep appreciation to President Trump and everyone in the Administration who is working hard every day to bring Bob Levinson home. Today’s announcement shows their commitment to that mission. We are grateful, and we look forward to the day when our husband and father will be able to thank them in person.

Statement from the family of Robert Levinson

Our family is very glad to hear of Robert O’Brien’s appointment. He has been a strong advocate within the U.S. government for our father, Robert Levinson. This is further evidence of President Trump’s commitment to bringing home Americans held abroad. We look forward to continuing to work with Ambassador O’Brien and the NSC to bring Bob Levinson home to those who love him.

Christine Levinson: Statement as Delivered for House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism Hearing “The Status of American Hostages in Iran”

March 7th, 2019

Mister Chairman, Ranking Members, and distinguished members of this committee;

My name is Christine Levinson. I am the wife of Robert “Bob” Levinson, an American held by the Iranian government. My husband is the longest held hostage in American history.

If I had my choice, I would not be sitting before you, to give the testimony I am about to give. I would be sitting at home, with my husband by my side. I am only here out of necessity.

My husband Bob has been a hostage for twelve years, and, despite trying to get him home by every means possible, I am absolutely no closer than I was when he first went missing on

March 9, 2007. I hold the Iranian government responsible, but I believe the US government is at fault as well.

Bob was taken nearly 12 years ago to this day, on Kish Island, Iran. Since that time, my family and I have had no direct contact with him. A few years ago we received a video of him as a hostage pleading for the help of the United States government, then photos of him wearing an orange jumpsuit. We have been unable to obtain any information on what needs to be done to return Bob home.

All the facts of the case tell us that Iranian authorities kidnapped my husband. I have been to Kish Island. I believe that it would be impossible for the Iranian government not to know what happened to Bob. We have confirmed that he made it to his hotel on Kish on March 8th, 2007, and left the hotel the next day. But his name was nowhere to be found on any passenger manifests for flights returning to Dubai.

Additionally, the FBI assessment of the video and photos that we received years later concluded that the Iranian government had to have developed them and sent them to us. The FBI also has a five million dollar reward that remains unclaimed.

The evidence has been so conclusive that the United Nations released an opinion in 2016 holding Iran responsible for Bob’s “continued deprivation of liberty.” Yet Iran has been allowed to feign ignorance over and over again – with absolutely no repercussions from the US.

My family’s dreams of re-uniting with Bob continue to remain just dreams. We believe he is alive, and we continue to receive reports that he is alive. At the same time, there is mounting urgency for his health and well-being. Every moment is of the essence for Bob, who turns 71 this Sunday.

After three very different US presidential administrations, we are no closer to bringing Bob home than we were when we started. We have nothing.

There have been some dedicated people from various government agencies on the front lines of Bob’s case, working hard to get him home. We are deeply grateful to them. At the same time, we have experienced shocking dysfunction from our officials. It became clear to me, early on, that major government bodies were not even talking to each other about the case. In addition, some past statements and misstatements to the media by US officials about Bob’s status, questioning if he is alive or in Iran, have severely undercut the efforts to hold Iran accountable. We know this because Iranian authorities have thrown these wrong statements back in our faces. The Iranians still regularly point to a statement made in error by the White House three years ago that Bob is not in Iran. That was wrong, but the US government gave Iran an excuse to not send Bob home.

And, in January 2016 when other American hostages were released and Bob was left behind, the United States government let Iran get away with it.

My husband served this country tirelessly for decades; he deserves better from all of us and from our government.

In addition to being a patriot, Bob is an incredible husband and father. We have raised seven children together. When our youngest daughter gets married in just two months, it will be the last daughter he has the opportunity to walk down the aisle. And everyone here knows how important that is to a dad.

Not a day or week goes by that I don’t get a phone call from one of my children saying how much they miss Bob and struggle without him. We are all suffering a living nightmare. We wonder endlessly what kind of conditions my husband is living through. We know how deeply he must ache, physically and spiritually, by being away from us for so long. By being

away from anyone he knows or loves, with absolutely no human rights. Does he have any human touch? Any access to sunlight? What kind of hell must he be living in, that both our government and the Iranian authorities have allowed him to live in for so long?

I want to close my testimony by asking each of you to imagine how devastated you would feel to be ripped away from your family, with no way to contact your loved ones, no human rights and no contact with the outside world. My husband has been held captive for 4,381 days. That’s 12 years this Saturday without his family. Imagine how alone he must feel.

We need your help. Today, Congressman Deutch and Senators Menendez and Rubio introduced the Robert Levinson Hostage Recovery and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act. I can not thank them enough for their continued support for Bob and our family. I truly hope this will do something to bring Bob home.

But when Saturday’s anniversary passes, and the media attention inevitably shifts, a different issue will take priority, and we will again feel like we have to take on this immense burden virtually alone. Without you we won’t succeed. Please help my family to get Bob

Statement from the Levinson Family on the release of Jason Rezaian’s book, Prisoner

Jason Rezaian’s new book, Prisoner, confirms that Robert Levinson, America’s longest-held hostage, was deliberately left out of the negotiations between the U.S. and Iran leading to the release by Iran of 5 hostages in January 2016.  Our father was left behind.

In Prisoner, Mr. Rezaian cites a source in the Iranian Supreme Leader’s office who states that, in discussions with members of the Obama administration, “the issue of Bob Levinson had initially been a point of contention throughout the negotiations (between Iran and the United States).  Initially Levinson—or a complete accounting of what happened to him—was to be a part of the deal, but the Rouhani administration decided there was no political value at that time in acknowledging, after eight years, that, yes, Iran had been responsible for his disappearance.”

This information is unimaginably devastating to our family.  To think that the Obama administration let Iran get away with this, and did not demand this information and the return of our father, is absolutely abhorrent.

We commend Jason Rezaian for sharing his harrowing story and being so transparent about the physical and mental anguish that he faced during his 544 days in an Iranian prison.  As Mr. Rezaian continues to talk about his experience, we can’t help but think about what atrocities that our father, Robert Levinson, has endured over his 11 years in prison in Iran.  This includes possible solitary confinement, nonstop interrogations, physical and emotional mistreatment, and health problems suffered through years of unjust imprisonment.  We believe our father is alive – there is absolutely no evidence to prove otherwise – and, just like Mr. Rezaian, doing everything he can, every single day, to come home to us.

President Trump’s administration, including the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Robert C. O’Brien, has told us repeatedly how hard it is working to secure our father’s return home. We begin every day hoping that it will be the day that President Trump will be successful, that the Iranians will find the value in resolving this on humanitarian grounds, and that Bob Levinson will come home and be reunited with us, just as Mr. Rezaian was reunited with his family.

Statement from the Levinson Family

March 9, 2017

FROM THE WIFE, CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN OF ROBERT LEVINSON, AMERICA’S LONGEST-HELD HOSTAGE IN HISTORY –

When is enough enough? It has been 10 years since Robert Levinson, our amazing husband, father and grandfather, was arrested on Kish Island, Iran, and imprisoned. For 10 years the government of Iran has been allowed to dodge and weave every time it was asked to come clean about what happened to Bob and send him home. Where is the outrage of this treatment of an American citizen? For 10 years, over and over and over again, two U.S. Presidents abandoned him, a lifelong public servant. Even Bob’s government co-workers and their bosses – they know who they are – ran away when he disappeared, to their lasting shame. Ten years is beyond enough. How much more agony must he withstand? It is time to get Bob Levinson home to his family. And, to Bob, Dad and Grandpa Bob: Stay strong! We know you are alive and trying to come home to us. We love you more than ever. We miss you every hour of the day. We will never, never, ever give up looking for you.

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An Open Letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran from Christine Levinson and the Levinson Family

Your Eminence,

We are the family of Robert Levinson, the husband, father and grandfather who was detained on Kish Island more than nine years ago, on March 9, 2007, and who has been missing and unable to see or even speak with us since that day.

It is impossible to convey the depth of the darkness and the tremendous loss our family has experienced without our father, the head of our family. Our father means everything to us. He is a man of deep faith who goes out of his way to help others. He is a loving father of seven children and four grandchildren. He brings light to our world. Yet he is being held against his will, with no contact with his family or anyone he knows for more than nine years. We are not aware of any charges that have been brought against him that would explain his being kept prisoner. We have had no contact with anyone claiming to be holding him.

We write with a simple humanitarian request involving an individual life, to you who are a father, that you help us find our father, Bob Levinson, so he may return to us and live the rest of his life in peace. His health is fragile, as he suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure. Our sole desire for whatever time he has left on Earth is that he be surrounded by those who love him.

We see in your writings and speeches, especially to families and young people, that you regularly call for compassion, truth and justice. It is in this spirit that we reach out to you as we are still awaiting answers as to what happened to him. Your Excellency, you undoubtedly agree with us that not having any information about our father’s destiny while we are still awaiting with hope to find him, and never having had the opportunity in nine years to communicate with him, and his inability to hear the voice of his wife, our mother, and above all, being held as a prisoner without the benefit of any legal advocacy, all fall short of humanity, justice, Islamic compassion and the lessons you teach.

We believe that you granting our request is within your power Supreme Leader and Guardian Jurist. All we are asking for is justice regarding our father’s destiny. We implore you to bring justice, Islamic compassion and truth to our father and our family.

With our deepest respect and gratitude,

Christine Levinson

On behalf of the Levinson Family:
Daniel, David, Douglas, Samantha, and Sophia Levinson Ralph, Susan, and Bobby Boothe
Randy, Stephanie, Ryan and Grace Curry
Ryan, Sarah, and Sean Moriarty

نامه یِ سرگشاده به حضرت آیت الله سید علی خامنه ای
رهبر جمهوری اسلامی ایران
تهران

مقام معظم رهبری،

با سلام و احترام خدمت حضرتعالی، ما خانواده یِ رابرت لوینسون هستیم. شوهر، پدر و پدر بزرگی که بیش از نه سال پیش در تاریخ 9 مارس 2007 در جزیره کیش بازداشت و مفقود شده است و از آن روز، قادر به صحبت و دیداربا ما نبوده است.

بیان عمقِ تاریکی و فقدانِ عظیمی که خانواده ما در نبود پدر و سرپرست خانواده تجربه کرده ایم، امری غیر ممکن است. پدر ما یعنی همه چیز و همه کس ما. مردی با ایمانی قوی که همواره برای کمک به دیگران تلاش می کند. پدرِ دوست داشتنیِ هفت فرزند و چهار نوه که به دنیایِ ما نور به ارمغان می آورد. اما هم اکنون برخلاف اراده اش زندانی و قادر به تماس با خانواده و یا هیچ یک از عزیزانش نیست. ما اطلاعی از هیچگونه اتهامی که زندانی بودن او را توجیه کنُد، نداریم و افرادی که او را زندانی کرده اند هیچ تماسی با ما نگرفته اند.

ما برای تسلیم یک درخواستِ ساده و انسان دوستانه در مورد زندگیِ یک انسان به حضرتعالی که خود یک پدر هستید نامه نوشته ایم، که جنابعالی در پیدا کردن پدر ما، رابرت لوینسون، به کمک خانوادهٔ ما بیایید. بلکه او به ما بازگردد و بقیه عمر خود را در آرامش بسر ببرد. او مبتلا به بیماری دیابت و فشار خون بالا است و سلامتیش در خطر می‌باشد. آرزویِ ما برای مابقیِ عمر او بودن در کنار عزیزانش است.

ما شاهدیم که شما مرتباً در سخرانی ها و نوشته‌های خود، مخصوصا به خانوادها و جوانان، آنها را به محبت، حقیقت و عدالت دعوت می‌فرمایید. درخواست ما در همین راستا است: حتماً حضرتعالی موافق هستید که نداشتن هیچگونه اطلاعاتی در مورد سرنوشت پدرمان در حالی که ما امیدوارانه در انتظار یافتن او هستیم و نداشتن امکان صحبت با پدر خود برای نه سال و اینکه او حتی قادر به شنیدن صدای همسرش (مادر ما) نبوده است و نیز عدم دسترسی او به عنوان یک زندانی به مشاوره حقوقی همگی بدور از انسانیت، عدالت، شفقت اسلامی و آموزه های حضرتعالی است.

ما باورداریم که برآوردن این درخواستِ انسان دوستانه تنها در حیطه قدرت حضرتعالی به عنوان مقام معظم رهبری و ولی فقیه است. تنها درخواست ما اجرای عدالت درباره سرنوشت پدر ما است. ما از آن مقام محترم تمنی داریم، عدالت، شفقت اسلامی و حقیقت را برای پدرو خانواده ما به ارمغان بیاورید.

با تقدیم احترام،

کریستین، دانیل، دیوید، سوفیا و سامانتا لوینسون؛ رالف، سوزان و بابی بوث، رندی، استفانی، رایان و گریس کاری، و رایان، سارا و شان موریارتی

Statement from Christine Levinson on the 9th Anniversary of the Kidnapping of Robert Levinson

Statement from Christine Levinson, Bob’s wife, on the 9th anniversary of Bob being taken in Iran:

A few days ago, hundreds of people from around the country came together with our family in Florida to demand “Where is Bob Levinson?” and ask how it is possible that, 9 years after being taken hostage in Iran, this wonderful man is still not home. My children and I ask those same questions every day.

These past 9 years – 3, 288 days – have been harder for our family than anyone could ever imagine. But, as difficult as it has been for us, we know that Bob is living a nightmare that is 100 times worse. We need the United States government and the country of Iran to work together to resolve what happened to Bob and return him safely to his family.

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