Family's plea: Free Michigan man imprisoned in Iran - New York News

Family's plea: Free Michigan man imprisoned in Iran

Posted: Updated:
Amir Hekmati Amir Hekmati

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- There was a plea for mercy and freedom Tuesday from the family of a Michigan man imprisoned in Iran. His family has been unable to contact him. Now they're turning to the media for help as Iran's president prepares to speak at the United Nations.

"He spent two weeks with relatives while he was in Iran and then disappeared," said Sarah Hekmati.

Her younger brother, Amir, vanished in August of last year. For four months, his family did not know his whereabouts. They engaged in a frantic search, then in December they saw him.

"The first confirmation that we had of Amir being in Iran was seeing his face on television on a video showing him confessing to being a spy to the CIA," Hekmati explained.

  Amir Hekmati
Amir Hekmati

The family says he was forced to make that statement. He was unfairly sentenced to death. His death sentence was thrown out. He was granted a new trial, but still he is in prison. Though some relatives had been allowed to see him, the family hasn't had contact with him in months.

"Amir's not part of the politics sect that's engulfed that area and has been a big problem between Iran and the U.S. Amir's our brother, our son, our uncle. His father's recently very ill, and we want him to come home," said Ramy Kurdi.

He said his brother-in-law was only in Iran to visit his ailing grandmother. A former Marine who grew up in Flint, the 29-year-old Amir had plans to take classes at U of M. Now his father is gravely ill. A brain tumor removed, he remains hospitalized and his prognosis is not good.

"We are not going to count the days that we have, we want to count the quality of the time that we might have, and we want Amir home to share that with him and we hope for that. We pray for that. We ask for mercy. We ask for diplomacy, and we ask for humanity," Kurdi said.

The family is speaking out right now in hopes of getting a message to Iran's President Ahmadinejad, who is scheduled to speak before the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

"We want this word about Amir to reach out through the media and that the Iranian government leadership can be directly questioned while they are here on American soil," said Dawud Walid with the Council on American Islamic Relations.

"We just want to ask him to put aside differences, to put aside politics, and that when he goes home... that he remembers that bond between a parent and a child and to respect that and to release Amir to return home to his father."

For more information, you can visit www.FreeAmir.org.

By: Amy Lange

Amy Lange is a reporter for Fox 2 News. You can contact her at Amy.Lange@foxtv.com.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • GM looking to bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection

    GM looking to bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:14:09 GMT
    General Motors says it will ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims involving conduct before its 2009 bankruptcy.
    General Motors says it will ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims involving conduct before its 2009 bankruptcy.
  • New lawyer comes aboard in Bashara case

    New lawyer comes aboard in Bashara case

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-04-15 22:33:50 GMT
    A man charged with arranging the murder of his wife at their suburban Detroit home has a new lawyer.
    A man charged with arranging the murder of his wife at their suburban Detroit home has a new lawyer.
  • Mary Barra speaks with industry insiders ahead of NY auto show

    Mary Barra speaks with industry insiders ahead of NY auto show

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:39:46 GMT
    General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke with industry insiders this week ahead of the auto show in New York.
    General Motors CEO Mary Barra spoke with industry insiders this week ahead of the auto show in New York.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Is your home's energy meter spying on you?

    Is your home's energy meter spying on you?

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:38 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:38:32 GMT
    Utility companies across the U.S. are installing smart meters in customers’ homes, touting the technology’s energy-saving ways, but opponents argue that the meters are opening a Pandora’s box of privacy concerns.
    Utility companies across the U.S. are installing smart meters in customers’ homes, touting the technology’s energy-saving ways, but opponents argue that the meters are opening a Pandora’s box of privacy concerns.
  • German Shepherd called to jury duty

    German Shepherd called to jury duty

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:16:16 GMT
    At least one prospective juror in New Jersey could take a bite out of crime. Cumberland County has summoned IV Griner to jury duty. The only problem is IV is a 5-year-old German Shepherd.
    At least one prospective juror in New Jersey could take a bite out of crime. Cumberland County has summoned IV Griner to jury duty. The only problem is IV is a 5-year-old German Shepherd.
  • New SAT: What will those questions look like?

    New SAT: What will those questions look like?

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:05:28 GMT
    Calculate the foreign exchange rate a vacationing American would pay in India. Estimate from a random sample the number of 18- to 34-year olds who voted for a candidate. These are sample questions from the newly redesigned SAT, which aims for more real-world applications and analysis from students.
    Calculate the foreign exchange rate a vacationing American would pay in India. Estimate from a random sample the number of 18- to 34-year olds who voted for a candidate. These are sample questions from the newly redesigned SAT, which aims for more real-world applications and analysis from students.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • GM looking to bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection

    GM looking to bankruptcy court for lawsuit protection

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:14:09 GMT
    General Motors says it will ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims involving conduct before its 2009 bankruptcy.
    General Motors says it will ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims involving conduct before its 2009 bankruptcy.
  • Oakland Co. fighting the growing heroin epidemic

    Oakland Co. fighting the growing heroin epidemic

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:44:13 GMT
    A heroin epidemic is spreading across metro Detroit communities. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says cases are up more than 300 percent from last year, and that appears to be the trend everywhere.
    A heroin epidemic is spreading across metro Detroit communities. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says cases are up more than 300 percent from last year, and that appears to be the trend everywhere.
  • Jayru Campbell readmitted to Cass Tech

    Jayru Campbell readmitted to Cass Tech

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:41:37 GMT
    A spokesperson for Detroit Public Schools announced Wednesday afternoon Jayru Campbell has been readmitted to Cass Tech.
    A spokesperson for Detroit Public Schools announced Wednesday afternoon Jayru Campbell has been readmitted to Cass Tech.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices