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U.S. Government Responds to Iran Imprisoning Christian Pastor PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 April 2013 22:05

Saeed Abedini, an American Christian pastor and dual Iranian-American citizen, has been imprisoned in Iran’s Evin Prison since September 2012. Abedini was visiting Iran helping build an orphanage when the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained him. He is facing an eight-year prison sentence for practicing Christianity in Iran, which the Iranian government claims is a threat to national security. On March 21st the U.S. government finally began speaking out against Abedini’s detainment.

Abedini has endured multiple beatings that left him unable to recognize himself, he wrote to his family. He did not receive medical attention because the nurse assigned to him refused to touch a Christian. The U.S. government spoke out after intensive pressure from Congress and the media, along with a petition containing 500,000 signatures calling for Abedini’s release.

On March 21st Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donohue addressed Abedini’s case at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, stating, “We repeat our call for the Government of Iran to release Mr. Abedini, and others who are unjustly imprisoned, and to cease immediately its persecution of all religious minority communities.” Secretary John Kerry stated March 22nd that he is “disturbed by reports that Mr. Abedini has suffered physical and psychological abuse in prison” and that his mistreatment “violates international norms as well as Iran’s own laws.” Read Secretary Kerry’s full statement here.

Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and two children reside in Boise, Idaho.    

Last Updated on Saturday, 06 April 2013 02:25