(SOUTHFIELD, MI, 6/23/2015) – The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today cited the tradition of merciful acts during the ongoing fast of Ramadan in renewing its call for the release of a Michigan Muslim who has been detained in Iran for approximately four years.
Amir Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine, was detained in Iran in August of 2011 on allegations of espionage. Family members of Hekmati say he went to Iran solely for the purposes of visiting family and tourism.
In April 2014, Hekmati was convicted of “practical collaboration with the American government” and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
SEE: Iran Secretly Convicted Former Marine, Lawyer Says (New York Times)
CAIR officials have communicated with Iranian officials multiple times regarding the Hekmati case and have previously worked with them to seek the release of other Americans.
SEE: Michigan Islamic Council Asks Iran’s to Free Prisoner, Offers to Bring Him Home to Flint Family (Detroit Free Press)
In a letter sent today to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid wrote:
“Given that Mr. Hekmati has been incarcerated for four years, we hope that you may intervene in this situation to grant him pardon during Ramadan, the month of mercy. We hope that a potential release of Mr. Hekmati can assist in a small way in unthawing of relations between our nations and empowering American Muslims to bridge the gaps between us.”
Walid also wrote that he is willing to travel to Iran to have Hekmati released into his custody and to escort him out of the country.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid, 248-842-1418, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com