- Associated Press - Friday, April 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — The family of an former Marine detained in Iran is asking Secretary of State John Kerry to step in and demand his release.

The mother, sister and brother-in-law of Amir Hekmati have been in Washington this week, meeting State Department officials and members of Congress.

Despite improvements in Hekmati’s detention conditions, they say he is “emaciated” after more than a year in solitary confinement and a month on hunger strike.

They say efforts in Iran to free the 29-year-old Iranian-American are at a standstill after more than 600 days of incarceration.

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said Friday that freeing Hekmati is a top priority. He says diplomatic efforts are ongoing.

Iran accuses Hekmati of spying for the CIA.

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