Marine veteran Amir Hekmati was brutally tortured during the 4½ years that the Iranian government held him as a hostage, he says in a lawsuit.

Hekmati was arrested in August 2011 after he traveled to Iran to visit his grandmother. He was released in January and now is suing the Iranian government in the hopes of getting compensation for the litany of abuses he says he endured.

For the first 17 months, Hekmati was kept in solitary confinement in a small cell where the Iranians whipped the bottoms of his feet, tased him in the kidney area, put him in stress positions for hours, hit him with batons, threw water on his floor to keep him from sleeping and kept a bright light on 24 hours a day to induce sensory deprivation, his lawsuit says.

“Mr. Hekmati’s captors would force him to take lithium and other addictive pills and then stop giving him the pills to invoke withdrawal symptoms,” the lawsuit says. “He was denied proper medical care and suffered severe malnutrition.”

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