Iranian family blames U.S. customs interrogation for father’s death

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Chantilly, VA, United States (4E) – An Iranian family in Chantilly, Virginia plans to sue the U.S. Customs blaming its agents for the untimely death of their visiting father last month.

Sepideh Sarreshteh claimed that customs agents’ intense six-hour interrogation of her 73-year-old father, Daryoush Sarreshteh, after he and his wife arrived at the Dulles International Airport on Nov. 6 for a family reunion caused him so much stress that he died two days later at the family’s home in Falls Church.

The father, a green card holder, and his wife Sima, a U.S. citizen, took an 11-hour flight from Tibriz, Iran to Virginia arriving on the eve of the U.S. national elections. The father had not visited the U.S. in the last three years failing to meet the required visit every half year for green card holders. Customs agents detained him and his wife for questioning while the daughter waited.

Sarreshteh said her father emerged from the interrogation pale and in tears. He was found dead inside a bathroom two days later. An apparent heart attack was the cause.

But the daughter told WUSAWednesday the mistreatment of his father by the customs agents may have exacerbated a blood clot he suffered previously leading to his death.

The family is waiting for the result of the autopsy for use as basis in filing a lawsuit against the customs agents.

The Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Wednesday saying that the interrogation was routine and travelers are treated with respect and in a professional manner, according to 9News.

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