Thursday, 7 March 2013

Family of Marine veteran Amir Hekmati renews their plea for his safe release from Iranian prison

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The Hekmati Family

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from The Hekmati Family regarding the detention of Amir Hekmati in Iran:

Yesterday, March 5 marked Amir Hekmati's 555th day of detention in Iran.

It was also the one-year anniversary that an Iranian Appellate Court overturned his death sentence due to insufficient evidence.

When we originally 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 year since then. Amir does not know that his father has terminal brain cancer. His father 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 yesterday, we implored him to show mercy and to release Amir as we approach the March 21 Persian New Year. We also asked 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 – rather, 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

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