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Family renews pleas to release Marine veteran held in Iran

DETROIT — The family of a U.S. Marine veteran detained in Iran on espionage charges is making more appeals for his freedom one year after his death sentence was overturned.

Sarah Hekmati says her family sent a letter Tuesday to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for the release of her brother Amir. Iran’s Supreme Court ordered a retrial for him last March, and he’s been detained for 555 days.

Iran accuses Hekmati of spying but his family and U.S. officials deny it. Sarah Hekmati says he “went through all the appropriate channels” for the 2011 trip to visit his grandmothers.

The family says he was on a hunger strike last year to protest solitary confinement.

Hekmati was born in Arizona and raised in Michigan, where his sister and parents live.



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