For immediate release:
March 5, 2013
Today, March 5, marks Amir Hekmati’s 555th day of detention in Iran.
It is also the one-year anniversary that an Iranian Appellate Court overturned his death sentence due to insufficient evidence.
When we heard Iranian State media announce this news, March 5 2012 became the best day of our lives. We had hope that Amir would be retried or released and it was powerful.
Today, we still have hope. But it has been a long 365 days since then. Amir does not know that his father has terminal brain cancer. He has lost his hair from radiation – but he keeps fighting. He keeps holding on, hoping that soon Amir will be freed so he can once again embrace his son.
In a letter to the Supreme Leader sent today, we implored him to show mercy and to release Amir as we approach the March 21 Persian New Year. We also ask that Amir’s lawyer be allowed to see him. We are concerned about his emotional and physical well-being, as we know he was on a hunger strike protesting solitary confinement.
With the upcoming New Year in Iran, we hope that his case will receive the attention it so desperately needs. As his family, we urge, we beg, for his release on humanitarian grounds.
The Iranian New Year is a time for opportunity, a time for family, and a hope for new beginnings. We can only pray that Amir will return safely to celebrate with us, and to make our family whole once more.
The Hekmati Family
DETROIT — Supporters of a former U.S. Marine detained in Iran on espionage charges are demonstrating and calling for action on the 500th day of his imprisonment.
Dawud Walid of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter said the group is sending a message on Wednesday to Iran's U.N. Mission calling for the release of Amir Hekmati. Failing that, CAIR-Michigan's executive director says Hekmati deserves an "immediate, fair and transparent trial."
The rest of the article can be found here.
H.E. Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei January
The Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic of Iran
Today marks 500 days since our brother and son, Amir Hekmati, was arrested by Iranian forces. It also marks the one year anniversary of an initial death sentence ordered by the Iranian judiciary in his case. This death sentence was vacated on appeal in March of 2012, because it was ruled that there was not sufficient evidence for the death sentence to stand. At that time, a new trial was ordered. Since then, however, there has been no movement on the case against Amir Hetmati. We are appealing directly to you, as the highest authority in the Islamic Republic of Iran, to intervene immediately in his case and bring the injustice of his continued detention to an end.
Contrary to the laws of your nation, Amir has been denied any semblance of due process. He has been refused access to his lawyer, has had visitors turned away, is unable to receive letters or books, and has been deprived of the regular consular access and telephone calls to our family to which he is entitled. There has been little to no information made available to us and the lack of transparency in his case has been devastating. It is believed that Amir has been held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Most cruelly of all, since Amir’s imprisonment, his father has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and Amir does not know. We fear that his father may lose his battle to cancer while Amir is detained, never holding his son in his arms again.
When we have travelled to your country to visit family in the past, we learned for ourselves that the Iranian people are inspired by the values of justice, mercy and compassion. We do not believe that you, as the supreme representative of your great nation, can be fully aware of the condition in which Amir remains held, since those conditions so blatantly contradict those values.
We trust that, with the knowledge you now have, you will require the judiciary to do what is right and release Amir Hekmati or move forward with a free and fair legal proceeding in which he can respond publicly to any allegations against him. We are confident that Amir has done no wrong and know that there is no legitimate reason why he continues to languish in Evin Prison.
Your Excellency, we appeal to your humanity and mercy to free Amir, so he can return to the United States and be with his father and family at a time when they need him most.
With all our hearts, we urge you to act so that the world can see that Iran respects its own laws.
The Family of Amir Hekmati
(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 1/9/2013) - The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today renewed its call for due process for a Michigan Muslim on the 500th day of his indefinite detention in Iran.
Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine, has been detained in Iran since August of 2011 on allegations of espionage. Family members say that he went to Iran strictly for the purpose of visiting family and for tourism.
For the rest of the statement, please visit this link.
From NBC25: 2012 has been, in many ways, the year of the human spirit. From the littlest philanthropists, widespread goodwill, to the power of social media fueling mass movements, we've covered numerous stories that exemplify humanity.
You can read the rest of the story and see the accompanied video here.
From Michigan Public Radio:
Musical inspiration comes in a variety of ways. For Dr. Mathew Packer, it came from the imprisoned son of a colleague at Mott Community College.
Amir Hekmati was taken prisoner in Iran – accused of being a spy after travelling there to visit his ailing grandmother. His family is now working to get him freed.
Packer, a music professor at Mott, heard about the family’s efforts to free him and created a song called “I WILL FLY” which is being performed and recorded for sale to benefit the Hekmati family on Friday afternoon.
Packer hopes the piece will bring comfort to anyone in distress. “It’s a song that’s kind of written for everybody that struggles with loss of freedom and the many different forms that loss of freedom might take”, he says.
Read the rest of the story and hear a preliminary version of "I Will Fly (Amir's Song)" here.
FLINT -- Flint native and ex-Marine Amir Hekmati has been imprisoned in Iran for 15 months, accused of being a U.S. spy. His family now hopes a special song will be heard around the world and boost their continued pleas for Amir's freedom.
"It's an awfully long time for a dad not to see his son," Mott Community Professor Dr. Ali Hekmati said.
Dr. Hekmati says his family's pleas for Amir's release have gone unanswered. Now, battling brain cancer, he hopes the song “I Will Fly,” written by Mott music professor Dr. Matt Packer, can bring his son home.
Dr. Packer said he hopes the track will reach far and wide and raise awareness about Amir's plight.
The rest can be read here.