- Associated Press - Saturday, August 23, 2014

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Family members and supporters of a former U.S. Marine convicted of criminal charges in Iran have taken part in Flint races to honor him and publicize his plight.

Amir Hekmati was arrested in August 2011 and sentenced to death for spying. Iran’s Supreme Court annulled the sentence. He later was convicted of “cooperating with hostile governments” and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Hekmati’s sister, Sarah, and niece and nephew joined supporters in Saturday’s Crim Festival of Races while wearing “Free Amir” apparel. She ran the 5K.

She says her brother is an avid runner who encouraged her. She tells The Flint Journal that participating was “really emotional,” since she has the “freedom to run” and “he’s between four walls.”

Amir Hekmati was born in Arizona and raised in Michigan.

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Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint