US urges release of imprisoned dev in Iran

US urges release of imprisoned dev in Iran
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 30th 2012 at 11:10AM

Government expresses concern over Amir Mirza Hekmati's health and lack of legal rights

The US government has called on Iran to release a developer and former marine accused of being a spy from prison.

Dual US-Iranian citizen Amir Mirza Hekmati has been imprisoned since August last year, and recently had a death sentence against him overturned after judges found shortcomings in the previous case and ordered a retrial.

Hekmati had appeared to admit to allegations of acting as a spy for the CIA on video in December last year, stating he had helped develop games to manipulate public opinion on Iran.

He is believed to have worked for New York based studio Kuma Reality Games.

A statement from the US Department of State expressed concerns over Hekmat’s health, lack of legal rights and Iran’s refusal for consular access by Swiss officials.

“Today marks one year since Iranian authorities detained U.S. citizen Amir Hekmati.” Read the statement.

“We are relieved that Iran’s Supreme Court overturned the death sentence verdict, but remain troubled by Mr. Hekmati’s lack of legal rights and Iran’s continued refusal to allow consular access by Swiss authorities, the United States’ protecting power in Iran.

“Mr. Hekmati now has spent a year in prison on charges that are categorically false, and he endured a closed-door trial with little regard for fairness and transparency.

"We remain concerned over reports of Mr. Hekmati’s health condition in prison and urge the Iranian Government to release him so that he may be reunited with his family.”