Amir Hekmati served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He has also been in Iranian prison for over 1,200 days due to that service.
Hekmati was arrested in 2011 while he was visiting family in Iran. Due to Iran’s laws on citizenship and immigration, the country does not recognize Hekmati’s American citizenship because his father is an Iranian citizen.
Hekmati was accused of being an American spy and fighting for a foreign military. He was originally sentenced to death, but that sentence was ultimately reduced to 10 years in prison on appeal.
Hekmati was recently moved to a lower security prison which means he has more access to phone lines and other means of communication. This is why he was finally able to dictate the following letter to President Barack Obama.
“As you are well aware, I have been detained in Evin Prison in Iran for more than three years. In fact, my mother informs me that as of today, December 15, 2014, it has been more than 1,200 days. One-thousand and two-hundred days, which have included solitary confinement and mistreatment. I remain confined without a fair trial and no idea or understanding of what is to be my fate.”
“Every day, I wake hoping that there is news of my release. Every night, I go to sleep disappointed to mark another day that I am still behind these prison walls, away from my family, friends and meaningful human contact. Away from my father who is gravely ill. There is no end in sight.”
“I hold on to my innocence and the knowledge that I was wrongly imprisoned. I plead my case to all who will listen. But, unfortunately, my pleas fall on deaf ears. As hope fades, I remain alone and weakened.”
“With no answer in sight, I am deeply concerned that my future has become tied to the nuclear negotiations with Iran, with which I have no connection, influence or leverage. I can draw no other conclusion, as each opportunity for a legal or humanitarian remedy is ignored, delayed or denied.”
“I ask that you not forget me, Mr. President. I understand that there will be additional dialogue this week on the nuclear subject. I ask that you make it clear that my case is unrelated and should be resolved independent of your talks. I ask that your team impress upon the Iranian officials that more than three years without resolution is simply too long. My punishment has already far exceeded the charges brought against me, charges that I continue to contest to no avail. I know that the climate between the United States and Iran is delicate. But I should not fall victim to it.”
“I am a son, a brother, an uncle and a man. I am an American who deserves basic human rights and his freedom.”
“Instead, I feel as if I have been left behind. I ask you, Iran and those who read this letter, in particular the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei and the Minister of Intelligence Hojjatoleslam Alavi, to work to ensure my immediate release and return to my country of birth – The United States of America.”
Courtesy of Controversial Times