News & Publications

January 9, 2012

NIAC Urges Iran to Reverse Iranian American’s Death Sentence

Contact: Jamal Abdi
Phone: 202-386-6408
Email: [email protected]

Amir HekmatiNIAC condemns the lack of due process afforded to Iranian American Amir Hekmati and urges the Iranian judiciary to overturn his death sentence.  Hekmati’s rights, including the right to consular access and competent legal defense, were repeatedly denied, raising serious questions about the court’s verdict. 

“The Iranian government’s disregard for the rule of law and the lack of due process in Hekmati’s case make it impossible to take this verdict at face value,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi.  “The Iranian judiciary should provide Hekmati due process as part of a new, transparent trial consistent with Iran’s international obligations, or it should release him.”

Iranian officials initially told Hekmati’s family to remain silent, assuring them that he would be released.  However, Iran – which has a long record of coercing confessions from prisoners – subsequently aired a confession by Hekmati on national television.  When brought to trial, Hekmati was denied legal counsel by the lawyer hired by his family to represent him.  Additionally, the judge in the case has been described as “one of Iran’s most notorious judges” by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, due to his sentencing of “more than one hundred political prisoners, human rights activists, and peaceful demonstrators to lengthy prison sentences as well as at least nine execution sentences.”

“Time and time again, we find ordinary Iranian Americans being caught in the crossfire between Iran and the United States,” said Abdi.  “There is serious concern that this sentence is driven more by politics and enmity between these two countries than the actions of this young man.” 




Back to top