September 25, 2013, Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dan Kildee (D-MI) has launched a “Free Amir” photo campaign in Congress to raise awareness of, and call for the release of, Amir Hekmati, an Iranian American who has been detained in Iran since August 2011.
Thus far, sixty-four members of Congress have taken photos with “Free Amir” signs and posted them on their individual social media sites to help raise awareness of the former Marine and Flint, Michigan native.
Hekmati was born in Arizona and raised in Michigan. After serving in the Marines, he travelled to Iran to visit his grandmother. Iranian authorities detained him after his arrival on espionage charges. His family and the U.S. government have emphatically denied the allegations. In January 2012, Hekmati was convicted and sentenced to death. The sentence was later overturned by Iran’s Supreme Court, but his legal status remains unclear. Most recently, Hekmati’s father, a professor at Mott Community College in Michigan, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, making his release of even greater importance.
In July of this year, Congressman Kildee sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, calling on the State Department to prioritize the release of Hekmati. The letter was signed by 112 members of Congress. On August 28th, Secretary Kerry issued a public statement calling on Iran to release Hekmati.
Click here to read more about the “Free Amir” campaign.
Click here to read PAAIA’s statement on the detention of Amir Hekmat.