Family pleads for release of former Marine imprisoned in Iran
Amir Hekmati
March 8th, 2013
06:34 PM ET

Family pleads for release of former Marine imprisoned in Iran

By Elise Labott

A year ago this week, an Iranian court threw out the death penalty conviction of a former U.S. Marine accused of spying and ordered a retrial.

After the death sentence was overturned, his family in Michigan held out hope Amir Hekmati would be released.

Instead, he has spent the past year in solitary confinement at Iran's notorious Evin Prison.

Hekmati was detained by Iranian authorities in August 2011 during a two-week visit to see his grandmother. Iranian authorities accused him spying on behalf of the CIA, a charge the family and the Obama administration deny.

Born in Arizona and raised in Nebraska before settling in Flint, Michigan, with his family, Hekmati joined the Marines out of high school. He finished his service four years later as a decorated combat veteran for tours in Iraq.

Afterward, he worked as a contractor as an Arabic translator and helped to train troops with cultural sensitivity.

Ramy Kurdi, who is married to Hekmati's eldest sister, said in an interview that his brother-in-law was honest with the Iranian Interest Section in Washington about his service when he applied for a visa.

"He told his mom, 'I have nothing to hide.' And after he disclosed this to the Iranians, they told him he would be welcomed in Iran and would have no problem," Kurdi said.

His family followed instructions by the Iranian government to remain silent about his arrest and suggested his release could come in a few months.

Three months later, in December, Hekmati appeared on Iranian state television maintaining he was sent to Iran by the CIA, a performance Kurdi said was a forced confession made under duress.

Although Hekmati's death sentence, imposed after a closed-door trial, was overturned and set for retrial, there have been no new legal proceedings and the government has not been communicating with the family.

"To have the death sentence overturned is a great victory, but for him to continue to be punished for something when the court said there is not enough evidence is so painful for us to deal with as a family," Kurdi said.

In January 2012, the Iranian government permitted Hekmati's mother to visit him in prison, but kept her from her son during two subsequent visits. Repeated requests by the family for his court-appointed lawyer to visit him have been denied.

Evin Prison is where American hikers Sharah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were imprisoned on charges of spying after crossing the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 before ultimately being released. Bauer and Fattal were released two days after Hekmati's arrest.

Recently, Hekmati was moved out of solitary confinement to the general prison population, after a month-long hunger strike which left him unconscious and needing medical treatment. An uncle who lives in Iran was able to visit him in prison last month.

His family is concerned about Hekmati's heath, but is also in a race against the clock to get him home with his father, a biology professor who is battling terminal cancer. Hekmati does not know about his father's illness.

"We have no idea how much longer his father has," Kurdi said. "We just hope how ever long he has he gets to enjoy it with his whole family, with Amir home."

The family is hoping Hekmati can be released as a humanitarian gesture for the Persian New Year on March 20.

"Our family is not political," Kurdi said. We are Americans. Amir is an American citizen. We are not trying to involve ourselves in the politics between Iran and the U.S."

soundoff (762 Responses)
  1. Social Media Marketing Consultants Near Me

    This site certainly has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    May 25, 2021 at 3:06 am | Reply
  2. Forklift Service Orange County

    May 25, 2021 at 2:22 am | Reply
  3. Forklift Maintenance California

    May 25, 2021 at 12:59 am | Reply
  4. Google Marketing Company

    May 24, 2021 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  5. Social Media Marketing Specialist

    May 24, 2021 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  6. horse trailer awning installation

    May 24, 2021 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  7. RV Bathroom Near Me


    May 24, 2021 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  8. RV Fiberglass California

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this matter here on your website.


    May 24, 2021 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  9. horse trailer air conditioner

    Howdy! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for the great information you've got right here on this post. I am coming back to your website for more soon.

    May 23, 2021 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  10. RV Kitchen Near Me

    This web site truly has all of the info I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    May 23, 2021 at 8:48 am | Reply
  11. Internet Marketing Mechanics

    May 23, 2021 at 4:32 am | Reply
  12. Local Marketing Agencies

    May 22, 2021 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  13. rv interior remodeling near me

    May 22, 2021 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  14. RV Lighting Orange County

    May 22, 2021 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  15. Content Marketing Experts


    May 22, 2021 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  16. RV Washing Los Angeles

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this blog. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now 😉

    May 22, 2021 at 11:14 am | Reply
  17. trailer repair near me now

    May 22, 2021 at 8:56 am | Reply
  18. bus mechanic near me

    May 22, 2021 at 7:37 am | Reply
  19. travel trailer repair near me

    May 22, 2021 at 5:07 am | Reply
  20. RV Furniture Near Me

    May 22, 2021 at 3:45 am | Reply
  21. Social Media Marketing Services

    May 22, 2021 at 3:27 am | Reply
  22. rv repair

    May 22, 2021 at 2:52 am | Reply
  23. best auto body shop in orange county

    May 22, 2021 at 1:56 am | Reply
  24. rv body shop

    May 22, 2021 at 12:55 am | Reply
  25. Internet Marketing Specialists

    There's certainly a lot to know about this topic. I love all of the points you made.

    May 22, 2021 at 12:44 am | Reply
  26. local paint shops near me

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    May 21, 2021 at 11:11 pm | Reply
  27. RV Washing Riverside


    May 21, 2021 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  28. windshield repair orange county

    May 21, 2021 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  29. RV Frame California

    May 21, 2021 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  30. temecula tv repair

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't disappoint me just as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I truly thought you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.

    May 21, 2021 at 9:19 am | Reply
  31. remodeling motorhome interior

    May 21, 2021 at 8:55 am | Reply
  32. RV Shades Orange County

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up plus the rest of the site is also very good.

    May 21, 2021 at 8:24 am | Reply
  33. oc repair

    May 21, 2021 at 1:38 am | Reply
  34. Digital Marketing Services

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read articles from other writers and use a little something from their web sites.

    May 21, 2021 at 12:59 am | Reply
  35. rv campgrounds orange county ca

    May 20, 2021 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  36. SEO Marketing Company Near Me

    May 20, 2021 at 7:47 am | Reply
  37. Digital Marketing Consultants

    May 20, 2021 at 1:24 am | Reply
  38. Content Marketing Agency Near Me

    May 20, 2021 at 12:55 am | Reply
  39. truck shop orange county california

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I don’t know why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having the same RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    May 19, 2021 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  40. RV Interior Designer Los Angeles

    I really like it whenever people come together and share thoughts. Great website, continue the good work!


    May 19, 2021 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  41. Social Media Marketing Services

    May 19, 2021 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  42. RV Maintenance Near Me

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    May 19, 2021 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  43. repair rv toilet

    I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!


    May 19, 2021 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  44. trailer painting near me

    I was able to find good information from your content.


    May 19, 2021 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  45. Decals Near Me

    May 19, 2021 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  46. Local Commercial Roof Restoration

    May 19, 2021 at 9:27 am | Reply
  47. 2015 Maserati Granturismo

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

    May 19, 2021 at 6:04 am | Reply
  48. Glasses Near Me Same Day

    May 19, 2021 at 5:17 am | Reply
  49. abacus energy pills

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I found this during my hunt for something relating to this.

    May 19, 2021 at 3:29 am | Reply
  50. green tea energy pills

    May 19, 2021 at 3:07 am | Reply
  51. Rubber Roofing Contractors Near Me

    I enjoy reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

    May 19, 2021 at 1:55 am | Reply
  52. pills that give energy

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

    May 19, 2021 at 1:39 am | Reply
  53. 2007 Maserati

    May 18, 2021 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  54. Commercial Roof Repair Near Me

    May 18, 2021 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  55. energy pills that really work

    May 18, 2021 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  56. 2016 Maserati Ghibli Msrp

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying these details.

    May 18, 2021 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  57. Best Dentist Office

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the web. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!

    May 18, 2021 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  58. Senior Care Services

    May 18, 2021 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  59. Best Dentist Surgeon Near Me

    May 18, 2021 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  60. RV Upgrades California

    Everyone loves it whenever people come together and share thoughts. Great website, stick with it!

    May 17, 2021 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  61. Maserati Maintenance

    Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this information to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    May 17, 2021 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  62. Maserati Granturismo Mc

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!

    May 17, 2021 at 9:10 am | Reply
  63. Dry Van Trailer Repair

    Very good post. I am experiencing many of these issues as well..

    May 17, 2021 at 9:03 am | Reply
  64. Sprinter Repair Los Angeles

    May 17, 2021 at 8:00 am | Reply
  65. 2006 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 Turbo Actuator Repair

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    May 17, 2021 at 7:11 am | Reply
  66. Wide World Maserati

    I seriously love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own blog and would like to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thank you!

    May 17, 2021 at 5:54 am | Reply
  67. Maserati Mc

    Excellent write-up. I definitely appreciate this site. Keep writing!

    May 17, 2021 at 5:08 am | Reply
  68. Sprinter Service Repair

    May 17, 2021 at 4:01 am | Reply
  69. Dodge Sprinter Repair Near Me

    May 17, 2021 at 1:21 am | Reply
  70. Sprinter Service Repair

    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!

    May 16, 2021 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  71. 2019 Maserati Ghibli Configurations

    May 16, 2021 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  72. Roof Mounted A/C Leak Repair On Sprinter Van

    May 16, 2021 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  73. Internet Marketing Videos

    May 16, 2021 at 7:29 am | Reply
  74. Social Media Marketing Consultant

    May 16, 2021 at 5:15 am | Reply
  75. Social Media Marketing Reviews

    May 16, 2021 at 1:45 am | Reply
  76. Internet Marketing Pro

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I truly thought you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.

    May 15, 2021 at 10:41 pm | Reply
  77. Content Marketing Masters

    May 15, 2021 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  78. Social Media Marketing Shop

    May 15, 2021 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  79. best rv service near me

    May 15, 2021 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  80. Maserati Ghibli 1970

    May 15, 2021 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  81. Digital Marketing Association

    I need to to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you book marked to check out new things you post…;redirect=

    May 15, 2021 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  82. Free Contact Lens Exam

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the site is extremely good.

    May 15, 2021 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  83. Vision Center

    I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own website and would love to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

    May 15, 2021 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  84. property for sale rathdrum idaho

    May 15, 2021 at 7:09 am | Reply
  85. Tesla Vs Maserati

    Can I simply say what a relief to uncover an individual who really understands what they're discussing over the internet. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people must check this out and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you are not more popular since you definitely have the gift.

    May 15, 2021 at 6:44 am | Reply
  86. Glasses Near Me

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

    May 15, 2021 at 6:10 am | Reply
  87. orange county tire

    May 15, 2021 at 5:24 am | Reply
  88. houses for sale rathdrum

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    May 15, 2021 at 4:37 am | Reply
  89. homes for sale fernan lake

    May 14, 2021 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  90. Precio De Maserati

    Very good info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!

    May 14, 2021 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  91. Faulkner Maserati

    May 14, 2021 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  92. rv supplies los angeles–IK2-E

    May 14, 2021 at 10:58 am | Reply
  93. RV Storage Los Angeles

    I was very happy to discover this web site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every little bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new information in your website.

    May 14, 2021 at 7:53 am | Reply
  94. RV Toilets Los Angeles

    May 14, 2021 at 6:29 am | Reply
  95. rv upholstery near me

    Howdy! This post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I'll send this article to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    May 14, 2021 at 4:42 am | Reply
  96. Repair Van

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog.

    May 14, 2021 at 4:25 am | Reply
  97. oc truck shop

    May 14, 2021 at 4:06 am | Reply
  98. bus repair shops

    May 14, 2021 at 2:13 am | Reply
  99. truck roof repair

    May 13, 2021 at 11:24 pm | Reply
  100. bus repair shops

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the website is also really good.

    May 13, 2021 at 6:29 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Leave a Reply to Luxury Sprinter Van Shop


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.