Muslim group renews call for Iran to free Michigan man
- By Oralandar Brand-Williams
- The Detroit News
Detroit — A local Muslim civil rights organization renewed its calls Wednesday for “due process” for a Muslim man from Michigan who has been held by the Iranian government for more than a year.
Wednesday marked Amir Hekmati’s 500th days of detention.
Hekmati, a former U.S. Marine and Flint native, has been detained by Iranian authorities since August 2011 amidst allegations that he was spying while he was in the country. Hekmati’s relatives say that he went to Iran to visit family and tour the Persian Gulf nation.
Hekmati, who has relatives in Metro Detroit, was sentenced to death in January 2011, but the conviction was later overturned due to a procedural error, say CAIR-Michigan authorities. Hekmati remains in detention and has not been given a date for a retrial.
CAIR officials have communicated with Iranian officials several times about Hekmati’s case. The organization says it has worked previously with the Iranian government to gain the freedom of other detained Americans in the past.
“We call on the Iranian government, in the spirit of justice and mercy, to immediately grant Hekmati a fair and transparent trial or to release him,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid in a press release Wednesday.