Muslim civil rights leader pleads for release of US man detained in Iran

A Muslim civil rights leader in Michigan is using the advent of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to plead for the release of an American ex-Marine detained in Iran.

Dawud Walid of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter sent a letter Tuesday to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei through Iran's U.N. mission in New York.

Walid requests "during this month of mercy" that Khamenei urge court officials to release Amir Hekmati or grant him a "speedy, fair and transparent trial."

Iranian officials accuse Hekmati of spying when he visited his family in Iran in 2011. His family and U.S. officials deny it.

The Iranian Supreme Court overturned his death sentence, and Hekmati remains imprisoned awaiting a new trial.

Hekmati was born in Arizona and grew up in Michigan.