Game Developer Sentenced To Death In Iran Asks Obama For Intervention

Amir Hekmati, the US-born game developer sentenced to death in Iran for allegedly engaging in espionage for the CIA, has asked the Obama administration to do whatever it takes, including a prisoner-transfer, to save him from execution.

Hekmati worked for the New York-based video game studio Kuma Games, where among other projects he worked on language-learning games for the Department of Defense.

The Washington Post reports that although Hekmati was initially sentenced to execution by hanging in January, his case has been somewhat delayed for reasons that are not clear. He could be hanged immediately after an appeals court reviews his sentence. Via his Iranian lawyer, Hekmati has asked the Obama administration to do whatever it takes to get him released, up to and including a prisoner exchange.

The former diplomat Pierre Prosper has been working with Hekmati's family to get him freed; as of the death sentence on January 10, Prosper said that "it is not over."

Hekmati had 20 days to appeal his sentence on January 10, so it is unclear why the Iranian government has not yet carried it out. It is possible that he is being kept alive as part of a plan to use him as a bargaining chip for Iran's other goals.

Ex-Marine sentenced to death in Iran needs U.S. intervention, lawyer pleads [Washington Post]


    Don't just be a funnel for this kind of propaganda. For all we know he's a spy, caught red handed as part of the active campaign against Iran. I mean we're talking about a country where key military figures and scientists not so mysteriously explode on a regular basis. Regurgitating this attitude that anyone caught spying is obviously innocent is just naieve and encourages states to take violent actions against each other.

      Whether he was a spy or not doesn't mean he deserves death.

      People have lived for much worse atrocities towards humankind.

        Agreed. The death penalty is wrong wherever it is applied. But going to a country that has it is this guys mistake. Especially since he works for the same department of defence that has an active bombing campaign against Iranian civilian and military targets.

      In case you don't know, it is often policy in Iran to take innocent tourists off the street and accuse them of spying. It is also not uncommon to force them through torture and/or psychological blackmail to force them to confess to being a spy.

      There is a reason Iran is on a lot of countries no-go lists

      "For all we know"
      Because you started you sentence like this... all your saying is 'I don't know'.

      "Regurgitating this attitude that anyone caught spying is obviously innocent"
      Then you assert that he is a spy? by saying 'caught spying'.


        The article asserts without citing anything that he's innocent. They are regurgitating the same sort of information that gets published in the conservative press. Therefore it's a non-news story that we can get on all of those news sources if we want. We don't need a biased take on politics here. That's what the traditional media is for.

        Remember that hundreds of Iranian's have been killed recently by targetted bomb blasts, likely planted by spies. For 10 years they've had NATO aircraft violating their airspace and before that they had their shipping attacked and their enemies armed to the teeth. They've only reacted to external pressure.

        In ~2001 they were headed down quite a moderate, democratic path and it's only really since the pressure intensified that they've reversed the trend. So being part of the system that justifies this oppression by regurgitating the propaganda of the conservative press does not feel morally right for a gaming news website.

    Two sides to every story:

      One; biased source is biased

      Two; so what if Iran released a video tape "confession" from this guy? Remember when Iran kidnapped a bunch of UK sailors from a boat and had them release a video "confessing" to illegaly entering Iranian waters, when all evidence showed that they were still in international waters and Iran was the ones at fault?

      Iran is not a country known for it's human rights or it's fair and impartial court system. Nor are they above arresting tourists to use as bargining chips against the rest of the world (or hitchhikers on the boarder, unless you beleive they were spies like Iran claimed they were).


          Please do us all a favour and desist from linking any more of this propaganda tripe.

            Propaganda? This Kotaku article is the propaganda. As far as I'm concerned a country under an overt and visible campaign of bombings has every right to detain and try spies. If they get it wrong ... or have an oppressive legal system that's the spies fault for going there with violent intentions.

            Violence begets violence.

            Sorry ROCK_M if these articles are all from the same site. ICH is a popular online news page for alternative accurate news reporting and opinions. The articles published there are simply republished from an array of reputable resources from all accross the world wide web, including many mainstream corporate media sites. So I doubt very much it would fit within any rational persons definition of "propaganda tripe". It is a little left leaning though.
            In fact I first read about Amir Hekmati's detention and charges reading an ICH article. The articles I read talked about details of him being an ex marine and his previous employment roll with Britain's biggest military manufacturer BAE, and many other details either ignored or passed over by most western media, including Kotaku. I am very surprised to see my favourite game site covering this story. But it's hardly amazing considering his roll with a US department funded games publisher. The thing that amazed me was the disparity between the way mainstream media where covering the article compared to alternative media. You should try reading one of them, might just burst your reality bubble.

        They were in Iranian waters. NATO forces have been ignoring the sovereignty of Iran for a decade as part of their operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. They do this, in part to assert regional authority and in part to attempt to provoke the Iranian government into a response.

        I would say though, that worse then sailing on the wrong side of a river is bombing soldiers, ammunition facilities and universities. So if you want to talk about propaganda and false accusations then fine. But don't forget who provoked this government into executing people for espionage.

    This is some prime gaming news right here.

    He's guilty. But still 'Game developer dies in game of hangman' is a good headline.

    So.... Apparently Iran is the victim now. (?)

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