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Free Amir Hekmati

By Chris Crowstaff, founder of Safeworld. January 2012.

This time last year, Iran sentenced Dutch-Iranian woman to death. She was executed 23 days later.

On Saturday, 29th January 2011, Iran executed Zahra Bahrami, before the lawyers recently appointed by the Dutch government were allowed access to her.

Zahra had dual Dutch-Iranian nationality and a Dutch passport. However, because Iran does not recognise dual nationality, they would not allow the Dutch Embassy to get involved.

The charges described Zahra as a ‘mohareb’, an enemy of God.·She was charged with belonging to a monarchist group, setting up an anti-government organisation and spreading anti-Iranian propaganda.

Zahra had apparently travelled from the Netherlands to visit one of her children in Iran.

Zahra was arrested and, subsequently, her lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was also arrested - and is still in prison.

On the 6th January, Zahra's lawyer confirmed reports that Zahra had received a death sentence.

Three weeks later she was executed,  before the file relating to a second trial on her political activities was completed and without informing her lawyer, according to the lawyer herself, Jinoos Sharif Razi.

On 9th Jan, 2012, Amir Hekmati was sentenced to death in Iran.

In its ruling, a branch of the Tehran Revolutionary Court described Amir as a mohareb and a mofsed, or one who spreads corruption on earth.

Amir has dual US-Iranian nationality and is a US citizen. However, because Iran does not recognise dual nationality, Swiss diplomats (representing US interests in Iran) have not been granted access to him.

Amir's mother, on learning of her son's death sentence, made the following statement:

"My husband Ali and I are shocked and terrified by the news that our son, Amir, has been sentenced to death.

We believe that this verdict is the result of a process that was neither transparent nor fair.

The Iranian authorities are denying that Amir is a United States citizen, despite the fact he was born in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Amir did not engage in any acts of spying, or "fighting against God," as the convicting Judge has claimed in his sentence. Amir is not a criminal. His very life is being exploited for political gain.

A grave error has been committed, and we have authorized our legal representatives to make direct contact with the Iranian authorities to find a solution to this misunderstanding.

We pray that Iran will show compassion and not murder our son, Amir, a natural born American citizen, who was visiting Iran and his relatives for the first time."

Behnaz Hekmati
(Amir's mother)

I don't know what the Iranian Regime is trying to do.. thought it certainly feels like they are continously trying to provoke some sort of response from the 'west'... a dangerous version of playground kids - boys teasing each other until one of them hits the other, a fight breaks out, and then they can start the argument about 'who started it' and who is the naughtiest.

And no, of course I don't think that going to war is the answer!!

Regarding the human beings caught up in these dangerous 'games', the similarities between the case of Zahra and Amir give me shudders.

Zahra's execution, without warning, was a shock to us all, and I personally felt distraught that I hadn't done enough for her.

Please sign the petition and raise awareness, to help prevent Amir from suffering the same fate.


PETITION:

Immediate & Unconditional Release of Amir Hekmati

WEBSITE:

www.freeamir.org

READ MORE:

US citizen sentenced to death in Iran - Al Jazeera