Saeed Abedini is an Iranian American Christian pastor wrongfully imprisoned in Iran after trying to build a government-funded orphanage and holding Christian gatherings in Iran. He was sentenced to eight years in prison with threats that they would extend.
Yesterday, the Iranian government started to take steps in fulfilling this threat. Pastor Saeed shared distressing news with his wife during her visit to Rajaei Shahr prison in Iran.
“Yesterday in Iran, Iranian intelligence officers summoned Pastor Saeed for an intense round of interrogation. Pastor Saeed reported to his family that the interrogators were abusive both verbally and physically. During the course of interrogation, the officers repeatedly used a taser gun on Pastor Saeed. This new assault is concerning as Pastor Saeed is still being denied needed medical care for injuries sustained as a result of beatings in the past.
The interrogators threatened that Pastor Saeed will face new criminal charges. They claimed Pastor Saeed has connections with anti-government groups and has made statements and taken actions against the government of Iran. Pastor Saeed denied all of these allegations, and once again asserted that he is apolitical and that he has never threatened the security of, made any statements against, or taken any action against the Government of Iran,” wrote the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
This week, Iranian President Rouhani will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York. ACLJ is renewing their efforts to encourage global leaders to speak out and “urge Iran to release Pastor Saeed.”
After hearing this news, Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini said:
“When will this nightmare end? Saeed is not a criminal. Being a Christian and motivated by Christian values to help the poorest and most needy children in Iran should be seen as good for the Iranian society. Hearing that yet again the hardliners in Iran are trying to fabricate evidence against my husband and that he was abused and tasered is almost too much to bear.
It is time for governments all over the world shift their focus to the injustices of the Iranian Government and call on the Government of Iran to free my husband. It is time for businesses seeking to do business in Iran to look beyond their bottom dollar and see the instability of a government known to imprison innocent men and women who have exercised their fundamental freedoms. Whether we operate in the field of business, government, or simply are members of human society, we must expect and demand more of our leaders.
I pray that as President Rouhani plans his travel to the United States next week, he will hear relentless voices crying out for Saeed’s freedom.”
This Saturday Pastor Saeed will have been imprisoned for three years. Join with many others in a pray vigil around the world this day for their family. Join Naghmah, ACLJ and 265,000 people in prayer as they “urge U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to intervene directly with the Iranian Government on Pastor Saeed’s behalf.”
Sign a petition at ACLJ.org to release Pastor Saeed.