For Immediate Release
STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF AMIR HEKMATI, AMERICAN DETAINED IN IRAN
April 2, 2015
Today, as a nuclear framework agreement with Iran was announced, our son and brother, American and Marine veteran Amir Hekmati, has been held inside the walls of Evin prison for 1,312 days. This is longer than any American has been held inside the walls of an Iranian prison. Amir was first sentenced to death. The death sentence was overturned and a new trial was ordered. This trial took place behind closed doors, without Amir’s knowledge, and with no legal counsel to present a defense. He was sentenced to 10 years for cooperating with a hostile government – the United States. Amir was not allowed contact with is family and it was not until after 17 months of solitary confinement that Amir was able to call home. In that first call home, he found out his father was dying of brain cancer.
Now that Iran has sat at the table next to the United States, working diligently to come to an agreement for a nuclear program, we ask Iran if they still consider the United States a hostile country and if they do not, perhaps it is time they open the prison gates and allow the Red Cross to visit Amir without guard and report on the status of his well-being. We call on them to show the international community that they are serious about their intentions and as an act of good faith, return Amir to his dying father, his worried mother, and the family that badly needs him.
Until Iran takes steps to prove their commitment to human rights, the world will not accept them. A giant step Iran can take to getting the world's approval is releasing this innocent man who has been abandoned, mistreated, and abused while in their custody.
When Amir was called to serve his country, he answered that call with bravery and courage. We are asking our elected officials to answer the call Amir has sounded out to them in the same way and do everything within their power to free Amir and return him to his family that have been living a nightmare every day for each 1,312 days he has been hidden away in Iranian prison.
We hope that this will be an important first step in repairing the fractured relationships between these two countries. While we understand that today is a historic day in creating diplomacy between these two countries, this diplomacy absolutely needs to lead to the release of Amir.