Vigil held for Mid-Michigan man held captive in Iran - WNEM TV 5

Vigil held for Mid-Michigan man held captive in Iran

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

It's been exactly three years since a Mid-Michigan man, and former Marine, was imprisoned by Iranian officials, accused of spying for the United States.

The family of Amir Hekmati rallied for his release and gave a message of hope to supporters.

"We want him home tomorrow. We can't wait any more days or weeks. We need him home now," said Ramy Kurdi, Hekmati's brother-in-law.

Hekmati has been in an Iran prison for 1,095 days.

"He disappeared from our lives," said Sarah Hekmati, Amir Hekmati's sister.

A vigil was held Friday in Bay City for Amir Hekmati. 

Friends, Rep. Dan Kildee, and fellow Mid-Michiganders remembered his fight to come home. 

Three years ago the U.S. Marine veteran and Flint-native left to visit his grandmother in Iran. Now he still sits in an Iranian prison. 

"It's meant to bring attention to him. This is an American citizen that is basically imprisoned in another country for doing nothing," Terry Spencer said.

Kildee has been fighting to bring Amir Hekmati back. 

"Make sure that a day doesn't pass where the American government, the Iranian government and the rest of the world is not aware that Amir continues to sit in prison," Kildee said.

Hekmati's family has had a few, brief interactions with him since he's been gone. He told them not to worry about him and that he'll be home soon.

"He's not allowed to see his attorney. And we want him to have justice and a voice. And you're his voice," Sarah Hekmati said.

His family hopes they don't have to use the Free Amir signs much longer, but they are happy to see so much support to bring him home.

"It's unbelievable. It just gives us this hope in humanity that we never knew was there," Kurdi said.

As the number of days goes up, Hekmati's family hopes they are one day closer to bringing him home. 

"Every day is urgent for us. It might just be another day in our government or the Iranian government, but for us every day matters," Kurdi said.

Kildee said there is hope to bring him back. 

He hopes some answers come out of an upcoming international meeting.

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