Family's plea: Free Michigan man imprisoned in Iran - FOX 32 News Chicago

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>>

  • Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:17:30 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Dearborn man bound for trial for fatal soccer referee punch

    Dearborn man bound for trial for fatal soccer referee punch

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:53:32 GMT
    A Dearborn man will see a trial for second degree murder, accused of killing a soccer referee with one punch.Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was bound over for trial in the death of John Bienewicz in 16th District Court today.Saad was ejected from an adult soccer game in Livonia -- when witnesses say he turned around and punched Bienewicz in the face June 29 .A Wayne County medical examiner testified that Bienewicz lost consciousness before he hit the ground.The defense said that it was a competitive ...
    A Dearborn man will see a trial for second degree murder, accused of killing a soccer referee with one punch.Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was bound over for trial in the death of John Bienewicz in 16th District Court today.Saad was ejected from an adult soccer game in Livonia -- when witnesses say he turned around and punched Bienewicz in the face June 29 .A Wayne County medical examiner testified that Bienewicz lost consciousness before he hit the ground.The defense said that it was a competitive ...
  • Testimony: Renisha McBride pounded on homeowner's door before being fatally shot

    Testimony: Renisha McBride pounded on homeowner's door before being fatally shot

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:47 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:47:47 GMT
    DETROIT (AP) -- A former medical examiner sparred with a prosecutor Thursday over a wound on the hand of a woman who was fatally shot on a Detroit-area porch, telling jurors it seems to fit the defense's claim that Renisha McBride was pounding on the homeowner's doors before she was killed.Dr. Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist, said photos of McBride's body show a "small superficial laceration" on her left hand. It "could have come from pounding on something," Spitz said.The testimony was ...
    DETROIT (AP) -- A former medical examiner sparred with a prosecutor Thursday over a wound on the hand of a woman who was fatally shot on a Detroit-area porch, telling jurors it seems to fit the defense's claim that Renisha McBride was pounding on the homeowner's doors before she was killed.Dr. Werner Spitz, a forensic pathologist, said photos of McBride's body show a "small superficial laceration" on her left hand. It "could have come from pounding on something," Spitz said.The testimony was ...
  • Twitter tussle erupts after Price traded from Tampa Bay to Detroit

    Twitter tussle erupts after Price traded from Tampa Bay to Detroit

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:31:19 GMT
    A friendly scuffle broke out on Twitter after the news Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price was traded to Detroit.
    A friendly scuffle broke out on Twitter after the news Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price was traded to Detroit.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

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