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Iran’s Violation of Saeed’s Human Rights

By Matthew Clark1362504110000

Iran has repeatedly and continually abused the most basic human rights of Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen.  For more than 160 days, Pastor Saeed has now been incarcerated in one of Iran’s most abusive and deadly prisons merely because of his religious beliefs – a blatant violation of numerous international treaties to which Iran has willingly bound itself and in violation of Iran’s own constitution.

However, this is not the only violation of his human rights by any means.  Iran’s deliberate and systematic violation of Saeed’s rights is almost unbelievable.  No one should suffer this cruel fate for their religious beliefs.

Among other human rights treaties, Iran has willingly signed to be bound by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.  Iran is in willful and blatant violation of each of these treaties and even its own constitution.

Here are just a few of the numerous ways that Iran is egregiously violating international law and its own constitution to torment this pastor.

Iran:

  • Arrested Saeed without informing him of the charges against him in violation of Article 32 of the Iranian Constitution.
  • Denied access to his attorney until mere hours before his trial, making it impossible to prepare an adequate defense, in violation of his right to due process guaranteed by Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Forced Saeed to undergo a sham trial before one of Iran’s infamous “hanging judges” disregarding his right to a fair trial guaranteed by Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Repeatedly beating and torturing Saeed in prison in violation of Article 38 of the Iranian Constitution, Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Threatened Saeed with death for exercising his faith in violation of Article 23 of the Iranian Constitution.
  • Battered with psychological torture in violation of Article 20 of the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam.
  • Denied access to medical care made necessary by the physical abuse he has sustained in violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Prevented Saeed, along with his attorney, from attending the second day of his trial in violation of his right to a public trial in Article 165 of the Iranian Constitution, as well as Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Sentenced to eight years in Evin Prison for exercising his Christian faith, a practice which is not illegal according to Iranian law and is protected by numerous international covenants to which Iran is a signatory. Articles 13, 14, and 23 of the Iranian Constitution guarantee Saeed’s right to practice his religion of choice as do Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 23 of Iran’s own constitution provides that “investigation of individual’s beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.”  What began as an illegal investigation into Saeed’s beliefs has become more than 160 days of being “molested . . . simply for holding a certain belief.”

Iran’s gross, willful, and egregious violation of Pastor Saeed’s human rights is an outrage.  It should incense every individual of good will around the globe.  This atrocity must not be allowed to continue unchallenged.

As we continue to urge the United Nations and nations around the world to engage Pastor Saeed’s case, stand up for the basic human right of religious freedom, and urge Iran to release Pastor Saeed, please stand with us.  Join over 400,000 people around the globe in signing the petition for his freedom at SaveSaeed.org.  Please continue to pray and share Saeed’s story as together we fight for his freedom.

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