On the 18th of December 2011, Iranian TV announced that they had captured an "American Spy" and broadcast his "confession." Amir Mirzaei Hekmati had been illegally held since at least September 2011, and subjected to interrogations for at least 3 months. An Iranian Islamist Court sentenced him to death on 9 January 2012, after a half day show trial.
His "crime?" "Fighting against Allah." In Iran, that is a "crime" punishable by death. The "evidence?" His confession that he was a US Marine who had deployed to Iraq & Afghanistan.
Picture courtesy of www.FreeAmir.org
But what was Amir's real purpose in being in Iran? He was there to visit his grandmother. His parents had emigrated to the United States before he was born. Amir is an American, born in Flagstaff, Arizona. When he applied for his travel visa, he stated his background. If he were a "spy," he wouldn't have said he was a former Marine. He would have said he was a clerk at Best Buy or 7-11, or a college student, but he wouldn't have carried a US Military ID, if he had thought there was a need to hide it, i.e. if he were working for an Intelligence Agency of an adverserial government.
Let me re-iterate: This is a US Citizen, who has served his Nation in two wars, and he is sentenced to death by Islamist Iran, because he wanted to go see his grandmother. He deserves a bit more than a White House spokesman saying the POTUS was "urging" Iran not to murder him.
There is something YOU can do to help save Amir's life. This is a classic "hostage type" situation. Iran is acting in a very similar manner as do terrorists, but that doesn't mean that his life cannot be spared. The Iranian government & the American government need to know that Americans care and know about this Marine. The more that they realize that this Marine is NOT forgotten, the less likely they are to allow his execution to be carried out. And Amir needs to know that he is not forgotten by Americans.
So, how does that happen? Send a letter to Amir. Send it to the White House for delivery to his Iranian Prison. Send it to the Iranian Interests Section for delivery to Amir in prison. Send it to both of your Senators and to your Congressman. Send it to his parents for delivery through his American Attorney. Keep it short. Wish him good health and a quick return to Freedom.
Why send six letters, particularly when they may never reach him? Four are to help get your politicians, your government involved in getting Amir free. One is to keep him alive by letting the Iranian government know that his murder won't go unnoticed. And one is to help his mother and father know that they are not alone, that you stand with them, in their trials and hurt.
I have been asked by friends of Amir if I thought Iran would really execute him, or if Iran is trying to get something else in trade for him. I don't personally know Amir, and was surprised to learn some of my friends do. It's a small world. I do know a bit about Iran and the Iranian people. It is unfortunate that many view the Iranian people as an extension of the Iranian government. It isn't surprising. At one time, I didn't know the difference either, but the average Iranian despises the authoritarian regime that rules their land. Iranian people are far different than their government.
I cannot honestly predict what will happen to Amir. I only know that his chances of survival increase if the US and Iranian government know that people care about him. The Iranian government is schizophrenic, narcissistic, and generally psychotic in its actions. With the intervention of its socialist ally, Hugo Chavez, and Sean Penn, and for the sum of $1.5 Million, Iran did release "American Spies"/hikers who had "strayed" across the Iran-Iraq border and future occupiers. Iran may be after another ransom payment. Or if they decide that no one cares, and Amir is not valuable to them, they may very well execute him. Of course Amir has no information of value to the Iranian Government.
You can send him a letter through his parents here.
Through the White House: via internet
Amir Hezmati, Iranian Prison
C/O The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Through the Iranian Interests Section at the Pakistan Embassy: via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amir Hezmati, Iranian Prison
C/O Iranian Interests Section, Embassy of Pakistan
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
YOUR Congressmen: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Thanks to Bouhammer for assisting in spreading the word.