Amir Mirzaei Hekmati: Prisoner of the day

Former US Marine

CNN: Relatives of a former U.S. Marine jailed in Iran for allegedly spying for the CIA say they are pleading with the leaders of the Islamic Republic to show mercy and set Amir Mirzaei Hekmati free.

"I just want to ask President (Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, these two are our only hope. These two can bring Amir home," pleaded Behnaz Hekmati, Amir's mother.

"We just want (him) to come home, I think one year is enough. If you want to punish us, if you want to punish Amir, for whatever reason he is there, just one year is enough. Please let him come home," his mother added.

With reluctance and much apprehension, the Hekmati family opened their home to CNN and sat down for an exclusive interview, their first since Hekmati was arrested on August 29, 2011.

"The struggle is the lack of communication," said Sarah Hekmati, Amir's sister, "going from talking to someone daily, weekly, and visiting on holidays to absolutely nothing and not knowing what's going on."

Amir Hekmati, 29, was born in Arizona, and was raised in Nebraska and Michigan. His family described him as an all-American guy with a yearning to travel and a love of languages. They said he is an outgoing, athletic individual who joined the military to help his family financially and a man who is proud of his service in Iraq.

His family says he wanted to learn more about his culture and heritage. This was his first trip to Iran and he was looking forward to visiting with relatives, especially the maternal grandmother who helped raise him. But after two weeks in Iran, Hekmati was arrested, and his family says he was not charged with anything for months.

But in December of last year Amir's parents say they were shocked to see a video broadcast on Iranian TV showing their son confessing to espionage. In the edited and highly produced video, Hekmati utters his name in English speaks in Farsi describing his work as a U.S. Marine and seeming to confirm the allegations of the Iranian government that he was an Iranian-American working as a CIA agent.

"They forced him to do that. That's not true," said Hekmati's mother, referring to the alleged confession. "They knew he was a military (soldier) because he told the Embassy of Iran he was in the military," she adds, explaining that her son checked with Iranian authorities in the United States before making the trip.

"He's not a spy, he's not working for the CIA, we know that, we are sure, absolutely," Behnaz Hekmati said.

The U.S. State Department also denies Hekmati was spying for the U.S. government and calls this case a gross miscarriage of justice."We never thought he should have been arrested. We've been trying, because he's a dual U.S.-Iranian national, we've been trying to get access to him since he was originally locked up," said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. "The Iranians have never allowed us to go to see him."

Amir's mother has traveled to Iran three times and has been granted limited visits. She described her son as disheartened and completely confused as to why he was arrested.

"He is skinny, pale, like a chalk, his face was like chalk. Hair was shaved, had a beard, he walked like this and the feet was together he walked like a robot," she said. "He couldn't stop crying and he was (saying) 'I don't know why I'm here,' Mom."

The Hekmatis say their son now has a government- approved lawyer in Iran although contact with him has been sporadic. A lower court in Iran sentenced Hekmati to death in January, but the nation's Supreme Court annulled that sentence less than two months later and ordered a retrial. The lower court previously had convicted Hekmati of "working for an enemy country," as well as membership in the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Hekmatis now believe their son will be granted a retrial, but no date has been set and the family says they have very little information about the legal process.
For Amir's twin sister, Leila, the worry and the waiting have been all too overwhelming.

She read from a card he wrote her on their joint birthday last year, before he went to Iran: "'(T)ime has passed but one thing hasn't changed and that's the bond I share with my twin sister. I will never be alone no matter where I am.'

"At night I just think about him; I feel so helpless. I feel like I can't do anything. Just please, bring him home," she pleaded, hoping Iranian leaders will hear her.

Ali Hekmati, Amir's father, said he believes the best chance they have of bringing Amir home soon is appealing to the Iranian leaders directly. "It's going to take some cooperation from Iranian leaders," he said. "The leadership needs to show some leniency and some cooperation in helping out a crying mother and sister and a father who loves his son dearly.

"I miss Amir very much," he said.


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درود بر تمام زندانیان سیاسی


ننگ بر آنانیکه از این زندانیان شجاع برای هدف شخصی خود سؤ استفاده میکنند

 Only a creditable and free court system can determine if he was simply on a visit home or on some other mission other than a simple visit.  His case does not fit any of the political prisoners currently in Iran yet I support him in seeking a fair and just trail to determine his true intentions.


Sadly, the free and creditable court does not exist under IRI.


'Hambastegi' is the main key to victory 


Shifteh Ansari

Due Process

by Shifteh Ansari on

Any and all individuals are entitled to due process, with access to lawyers and family, without torture, and without forced television confessions prior to their court trial, throughout their trial, including but not limited to their detention period.

None of the political prisoners of the Islamic Republic of Iran are afforded their due process, and Amir Hekmati is no exception.

Just in the past couple of years, we have seen arrests and trials of "spies" such as journalist Maziar Bahari, Roxana Saberi, Esha Momeni, Kian Tajbakhsh, Ramin Jahanbegloo, Haleh Esfandiari, the three American hikers, etc... ALL Of these people were not only released later, they were allowed to leave the country.

What country releases its real spies, the ones who have committed treason against its national security? A country that arrests innocent people, calls them spies, puts them through months and years of torture, makes them confess to crimes they have not committed under duress, and, satisfied with intimidating its own poor nation, lets them go.

Amir Hekmati is an ex-US marine. He is also an American of Iranian descent. If he is a real spy, he should have been allowed the due process, to have a lawyer after his arrest and a fair trial. He wasn't afforded any of that.

In this column, read daily about the way the Islamic Republic of Iran has treated its Iran-born, raised, and educated citizens, and rest assured that in all likelihood Amir Hekmati is innocent of the charges of espionage.


مُلکِ ایران زنده از فریادِ توست



درود بی پایان بر همه زندیان سیاسی 

مُلکِ ایران زنده از فریادِ توست

از دانشجو

یار دَربَندم،  دلم همراه توست

این کشوراز کردارتوست

جور دِژخیمان تحمل می کنی

عدل و
آزادی شعار نابِ توست

کار و عمر و هستیت بخشیده ای

بَهرِ مردم کارِ توست

خویش ِ تو دلخسته و افسرده است

اما شوکت و فخرش زتوست

میهنِ ما سرفراز از دانِشت

نالان زِ بیداری توست

ای که در بندی،  فدای غیرتت

وطن مدیونِ کوشش های توست

پهلوان ِ حال و فردای منی

ایران زنده از فریادِ توست

راه روشن شد ز جانبازی تو

پای هر
آزاده ای در راهِ توست

فکرو پیکارت به ما جان داده است

ملک و
ملت وامدار کارِ توست

می کنیم آخر وطن آزاد و شاد

شادی و
آزادگی همنام توست


زندانیان سیاسی محبوبترین مبارزان ایرانند.                                                                                                               بی
تردید همه ما آنها را دوست می داریم و محترم می شماریم و کارشان را اساسی و گرامی
می دانیم. ابرازسپاسمان، به شکلهای گوناگون، بر امید آنها، تعداد مبارزان و همگامی
همگانی خواهد افزود. درود بی پایان بر آنها و پاینده ایران





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First Amendment


by First Amendment on

Wishing for the regime change for this ex-marine's sake sounds ironic......these boys were supposed to change it for the rest of us :)))

I hope they'll release this poor fellow, whose marrow of professionalism has been sucked out of him........I can't wait to see him in the capacity of a security guard in the mall close to my home............


Regime change for American-Iranians' sake

by Fred on

Regime change is the only way out; just commiserating with the legions of victims the Messianic Islamist Rapists have amassed in the past 34 years achieves nothing.

Backbreaking airtight sanctions plus air/naval quarantine in addition to logistical help to the Iranian people to overthrow the Islamist Rapists is a must.