Detained American Amir Hekmati: Torture, Abuse and Mistreatment; Requests Immediate Deportation
Dire Conditions Exposed, Renounces Iranian Citizenship, Commits Never to Return to Iran if deported
Amir Hekmati and his family call for Amir’s immediate deportation from Iran. The Arizona-born Amir has renounced his Iranian citizenship (he obtained dual citizenship to visit extended family in Iran). Once deported, he promises never to return.
For nearly 1,300 days, Amir has suffered in Iran’s Evin Prison, longer than the American hostages of 1979 were held in total. Gathered from accounts by his family in Michigan, his extended family in Iran and from Amir himself, the following details his mistreatment since 2011.
• For the first four months, Amir was held in a 3ft. x 3ft. cell with his hands and feet constantly shackled.
• Amir was held in solitary confinement for 17 months, which resulted in serious joint discomfort, trouble sitting and severely limited vision.
• While in solitary, Amir was placed in stress positions for extended periods. Cold, foul-smelling water was repeatedly poured into his cell to prevent him from sleeping.
• Amir was forcibly given drugs, such as lithium, by prison officials. Officials would intentionally and abruptly stop this medication to induce a painful withdrawal response.
• During interrogations, an electric TASER was used on Amir’s kidneys several times, his feet were whipped with cables and he endured mental torture through threats, insults and humiliations.
• Amir was forced to watch the torture of other inmates.
• Amir went 20 months without speaking to his family.
• Amir is often given misinformation. Amir was falsely told that his mother had been killed in an automobile accident and was then denied the ability to call home to speak with his family.
• While in solitary, Amir was fed a piece of bread with jam for breakfast, rice for lunch, and a dried beef kabob for supper. In the first four months, he lost 30 pounds.
• Amir was forced into making a false confession that he was a spy on Iranian state TV—for the video, Amir was taken to a hotel room and given a change of clothes to cover-up his condition.
• During the first two-plus years, Amir met with his lawyer for a total of 5 minutes.
• After a 15-minute hearing, Amir was sentenced to death by hanging in 2012—the first American citizen to receive the death sentence in 33 years. It was later annulled due to a lack of evidence.
• More than two years after his spy charges were dropped, Amir’s case was revisited in a secret trial, for which he was not present, and was sentenced to 10 years for “cooperating with a hostile government.” Amir and his family learned of this several months later.
• Despite other prisoners frequently being sanctioned furloughs from Evin to visit relatives, Amir was denied a recent request to visit his sick grandmother in Iran who underwent surgery.
• Currently, Amir is in a ward of the prison with no heat—experiencing the harsh winter in the mountains where Evin Prison is located—and often sits in the dark, given the prison’s frequent power outages.
• Currently, Amir is housed with hardened criminals and drug dealers, he experiences recurring lung infections, his cell mates have lice, and he is surviving on a diet of only rice and lentils.