The American Center for Law and Justice is fighting for an Iranian-American pastor imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. Pastor Saeed Abedini, 32, was arrested in September for his work in Iran’s underground Christian community and his case has reportedly been assigned to an Iranian judge who is known as one of Iran’s “hanging judges.”
The US State Department has thus far, refused to take decisive action on Abedini’s behalf, even though he is an American citizen.
The U.S. State Department expressed “serious concerns” about Abedini’s situation on Friday.
Jordan Sekulow, the executive director of the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) wrote to the The Jerusalem Post on Friday, “This is an extremely critical time for American Pastor Saeed and his family. We now know with certainty, from his own words, the brutality and life-threatening danger he faces in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.”
“In a powerful letter from him released to family members in Tehran, Pastor Saeed reveals that he is undergoing beatings and is being told that he ‘will hang’ for his Christian faith. That treatment combined with the recent news that Pastor Saeed’s case has been turned over to one of Iran’s ‘hanging judges’ makes his circumstances more dire than ever,” Sekulow said.
Abedini became an American citizen in 2010 after marrying his American wife, Naghmeh Abedini, according to FOX News.
The Iranian government does not recognize his American citizenship, though it had enabled him to travel freely between both countries until this past summer. That’s when he was pulled off a bus and placed under house arrest, according to his supporters. Abedini was then imprisoned and charged with several crimes that have not been made public, but it is widely believed that it is because of his Christian faith.
The ACLJ reported Monday that a sham trial against American pastor Saeed for his faith is scheduled for Jan 21.
American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Iranian lawyer was finally permitted to see Saeed’s court file. What he discovered is that Pastor Saeed’s trial has been set for January 21, 2013, one week from today.
It is an outrage that Pastor Saeed’s trial date and charge against him would be withheld from his legal counsel until less than a week before the trial itself. Not only is Iran violating Pastor Saeed’s fundamental freedom of religion, but it is making a mockery of “justice.”
As more individuals and governments around the world take notice of Pastor Saeed’s case, the pressure on Iran to release him and stop violating religious liberty will increase. Action must be taken quickly as the Iranian regime is clearly bent on rushing through a sham trial that leaves counsel unprepared and in the dark about the nature of the charges against their client and exacerbates the already horrific violations of Pastor Saeed’s human rights.
Stand with the ACLJ and tens of thousands of others in defense of this American citizen and pastor by signing our petition to save Pastor Saeed today. Also, please call your Representative and Senators immediately and ask them to sign on to Representative Aderholt’s letter in the House and Senator Risch’s letter in the Senate calling for Pastor Saeed’s freedom. You can find your Members of Congress here.
Your prayers wouldn’t hurt, either.