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Horn co-sponsors resolution to release Marine from Iranian prison

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution to support U.S. House Resolution 233.

Senate Resolution 66, sponsored by state Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint and co-sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn, supports the congressional resolution calling on Iran to immediately release the three United States citizens that it holds, including Marine sergeant and Michigan resident Amir Hekmati.

“I would like to personally thank Senators Ananich and Knezek for their support in bringing this issue before the chamber,” said Horn, R-Frankenmuth. “I had an opportunity to meet Sergeant Hekmati’s family along with Congressman Kildee recently in Washington, and I’m happy that we were able to work together and get bipartisan support on a very critical issue.”

According to his family, Hekmati traveled to Tehran to visit his ailing grandmother in 2011 after receiving permission from the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C. Within weeks of his arrival, Hekmati was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned.

Months later he appeared on Iranian TV and was forced to confess that he was a CIA operative spying for the United States, a statement that has been continuously refuted by the U.S. Department of State. With Hekmati’s health deteriorating and his father growing ill, lawmakers and Hekmati’s family are pleading for his release.

“I can only hope that Sergeant Hekmati knows that he is not forgotten,” Horn said. “It is shameful that a member of our armed services, someone who fought for this country, has been treated this way. We are doing everything in our power as legislators to put an end to this and to get him home safe to his family.”