Aug. 29 will mark four years since U.S. Marine veteran Amir Hekmati was seized while visiting relatives in his parents’ country of origin, Iran.
In an audio recording delivered in a phone call from Evin prison, Amir tells all of his supporters “how thankful my family and I are for your support over the last four years”:
The list of people I want to thank is far too long to be included here, but had it not been for all of your support, it is possible that the outrageous death sentence I was given in 2011 would have been carried out. I’m convinced the only reason I’m alive and allowed to use the prison phone is your support and international outcry of my false imprisonment. My captors would have much preferred to keep my voice from being heard and have me remain in solitary confinement where I was buried away in miserable conditions for 18 months, where I witnessed many lose their health and sanity, where I was told I would be executed by hanging with no one to reach out to, and where I was not allowed even one minute to phone my father who was and still is fighting for his life with brain cancer.
However, due to your help, my father now hears me loud and clear and so do all of you. My morale has never faltered after all these years because I know I am not alone. So if I am alive and have any privileges here, and if my family is able to cope with his better, it is because of your support and I will always be grateful. Even those of you who have simply posted a comment voicing your support or concern or you may not think it has had a direct impact, collectively, you prevented further mistreatment by my Iranian captors and have brought me closer to being reunited with my family. Your words have reached me and have kept my head held high.
Thank you and God bless,
The State Department last mentioned Amir a week ago, when press secretary John Kirby was asked about the latest court appearance of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.
“We continue to call for his immediate release, as well as that of Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati, and we continue to call for Iran to work with us to locate Robert Levinson so that all can be returned to their families,” Kirby said.