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US Rep. Kildee to leave guest seat open during State of Union for ex-Marine held in Iran


FLINT, Michigan — Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan plans to leave his guest seat empty at next week's State of the Union address to call attention to the case of a former U.S. Marine imprisoned in Iran.

The Democrat's district in includes the Flint area, where Amir Hekmati has family. Kildee says in a statement that it's important that during Tuesday's address by President Barack Obama "we do not forget about Amir and recommit ourselves to doing everything we can to bring him home."

Hekmati was arrested in 2011 and sentenced to death for spying. Authorities overturned that sentence and imprisoned him for 10 years. The U.S. denies he's a spy.

Last year, Kildee spoke briefly with Obama after the State of the Union address about Hekmati.

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