Bay City man hopes to help free Amir Hekmati - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Bay City man hopes to help free Amir Hekmati

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BAY CITY (WJRT) -  (07/02/14) - It's been almost three years since Amir Hekmati, of Genesee County, was arrested and placed in an Iranian prison.

Police arrested him while he was visiting his grandmothers in August of 2011, accusing him of being a CIA spy - something the government and his family deny.

A local man says more needs to be done to bring him home, so he's lending a helping hand.

Drivers through downtown Bay City will notice a visible sign calling for Amir Hekmati's freedom.

On a busy street, posted high for everyone to see is a clear and concise message - Free Amir. Two words the artist hopes are simple enough to spark curiosity and action.

"It's important for people to know what this person's situation is," said Terry Spencer, Dunlop Property owner. "People have to get this citizen back home."

Spencer is a businessman, police officer, veteran and complete stranger to Amir Hekmati. Spencer was drawn to the former marine's story.

"Because I'm a veteran, it caught my eye," he said.

Hekmati has been an Iranian prisoner for 1,037 days for what the U.S. government calls false espionage charges.

His family says he went to Iran to visit his grandmother. He never came home from that trip.

"It makes me angry that he's been go so long," Spencer said.

Hekmati's family continues their fight to get him out of prison. They've launched social media campaigns, fundraisers and gotten Congressman Kildee to pitch in.

This is Spencer's effort to get more people involved.

"They need to bring this citizen, this veteran home," he said.

Spencer is hoping people will contact their local and congressional leaders and urge them to help free Hekmati.

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