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Iran Reverses Course And Removes Shackles From U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is working to secure the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini from an Iranian prison, said today Iran
now claims that the violent treatment of American Pastor Saeed – who
was shackled and returned to his prison cell yesterday before receiving
the critical medical treatment he needs – was a "mistake" and should not
This new development comes one day after the ACLJ called international attention
to the worsening plight of Pastor Saeed – who was promised surgery to
repair injuries he suffered from prison beatings – only to have the
Iranian government deny the surgery, put him in shackles and return him
to his prison cell without medical treatment.
a family member of Pastor Saeed went to Rajai Shahr Prison to find out
why he was denied medical care and was told by prison officials that the
whole ordeal was a "mistake" and that the warden had ordered that
Pastor Saeed be unchained and permitted to visit the family member. The
family member was able to visit with Pastor Saeed briefly. He was not in
shackles at the time but has not received any medical treatment.
"We know that the voices and prayers of the worldwide community truly make a difference," said Jordan Sekulow,
Executive Director of the ACLJ, which represents Pastor Saeed's wife,
Naghmeh, and their two young children who reside in the U.S. "We will
continue to put pressure on Iran
to provide the vital medical treatment that Pastor Saeed so desperately
needs. It's extremely disturbing that the Iranian government continues
to play games with the life of this U.S. citizen – who has been
imprisoned in Iran
for a year and a half now simply because of his Christian faith. We are
continuing to fight for Pastor Saeed's freedom. We are continuing to
fight for Pastor Saeed's freedom. Right now a legal team from both our
U.S. and international offices is meeting with world leaders at the
United Nations office in Geneva."
Thousands continue to add their names of support for Pastor Saeed by signing on to this petition for his freedom.
"The start of the Iranian new year on March 21st is often a time when the Iranian government offers clemency to prisoners of conscience," said Sekulow. "Iran
has a very visible window of opportunity in the week ahead – to act on
earlier comments from Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif who told the media
that clemency for Pastor Saeed could be possible. It's time for Iran to act and to free Pastor Saeed now so he can get the medical attention he needs and return to his family."
33-year-old Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – is serving an eight year
prison sentence simply because of his Christian beliefs. He has been
imprisoned now for more than one year. The ACLJ represents Pastor
Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, and their two children who live in Idaho.
Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The ACLJ is online at aclj.org.