Blumenthal Urges Kerry To Make Every Effort To Secure Release Of Amir Hekmati, Other American Citizens Detained By Iran

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry to urge the State Department to make every possible effort to secure the release of Amir Hekmati – an American citizen who has served in the Marine Corps – as well as other detained American citizens currently being detained by the Iranian government without a fair trial.

“Amir Hekmati has served our nation honorably as a United States Marine,” Blumenthal wrote. “I ask you to forcefully hold Iran accountable for Mr. Hekmati’s welfare while he is in its custody. I also ask you to redouble efforts and aggressively push for the swift release and return home of all Americans illegally detained in Iran. No American citizen should be subjected to the treatment currently being suffered by these individuals and their families.”

The full text of Blumenthal’s letter to Sec. Kerry is below, and a pdf is available here.

January 5, 2015

The Honorable John Kerry

Secretary

United States Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, DC  20520

Dear Secretary Kerry:

After speaking with Acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman regarding the deeply troubling Iranian detention of Amir Hekmati, I write to urge you to make every possible effort to secure his freedom.

Mr. Hekmati has been held by the Iranian government without a fair trial, at times suffering solitary confinement and deplorable conditions including abuse and torture. His case still languishes in the Iranian judicial system – without conclusion – over 1,170 days after his initial detention. Recent reports by Iranian officials that his case will be revisited do little to assuage my concerns over his unjust imprisonment. Unfortunately, he is one of a number of Americans detained or missing in Iran, along with Saeed Abedini, Jason Rezaian, and Robert Levinson. As you are aware, the Iranian government has a brutal record of abrogating the human rights both of Americans it has illegally detained and of its own people, having conducted over 850 executions in the past year alone.

Amir Hekmati has served our nation honorably as a United States Marine. I ask you to forcefully hold Iran accountable for Mr. Hekmati’s welfare while he is in its custody. I also ask you to redouble efforts and aggressively push for the swift release and return home of all Americans illegally detained in Iran. No American citizen should be subjected to the treatment currently being suffered by these individuals and their families.

While I am encouraged by the gravity with which the Department of State appears to be pursuing this concern, I ask that you keep me fully apprised of any developments with regard to Mr. Hekmati’s case.

Sincerely,

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL                                  

United States Senate