Hekmati Family to Join Congressman Dan Kildee as Guest at State of the Union Address

January 7, 2016

Kildee, Hekmati Family to Raise Awareness of Amir’s Continued Imprisonment During Primetime Presidential Address

WASHINGTON – Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) has invited Sarah Hekmati, the sister of Amir Hekmati from Flushing, Mich., to be his guest at the State of the Union address next week.

The President will give his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, January 12th. Each Member of Congress is allowed to bring one guest to the State of the Union, who will sit in a reserved seat in the House Gallery.

“Amir Hekmati has been unjustly held in Iran for nearly 1,600 days. It is long past time for Iran to release him so he can be reunited with his family in Michigan,” Congressman Kildee said. “Having Sarah join me at the State of the Union will serve as an important reminder of Amir’s continued imprisonment and the pain their family continues to endure. We continue to press for his release and do everything we can to bring him home.”

Last year, Congressman Kildee left his guest seat empty at the State of the Union to call attention to Amir’s imprisonment in Iran. He continues to work with Administration officials and has met directly with Iranian officials to try and secure his release.

On Twitter today, Congressman Kildee also implored President Obama to mention Amir Hekmati by name during his primetime address to the nation and highlight ongoing efforts to secure his release.

“It is important that Amir and the other innocent Americans being held not be forgotten. They should be household names in America – we must say their names as often as we can. The State of the Union address would be an opportunity to articulate the importance of Iran releasing these innocent Americans. Doing so would be a tangible demonstration by Iran that it is serious about rejoining the global community,” Congressman Kildee said.

“Amir has been punished for four-and-a-half agonizing years for serving his country,” Sarah Hekmati said. “His health and our father’s health are dire. 2016 needs to be the year he is released. We urge immediate action.”

Last year, Congressman Kildee spoke with President Obama on the night of the State of the Union regarding Amir’s imprisonment.