(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which defends human rights and religious freedom, said today it is pleased that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has issued a public statement expressing concern for American Pastor Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith. The statement, issued late today while Secretary Kerry was travelling in the Middle East, calls on Iran to release Pastor Saeed immediately and comes after ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow called for Secretary Kerry to issue a public statement by today.
“We're very pleased that Secretary of State Kerry made this bold and public statement calling on Iran to release Pastor Saeed,” said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ. “By speaking out directly on behalf of Pastor Saeed, Secretary Kerry is taking our government’s most aggressive action yet in working to secure the freedom of this U.S. citizen. We also appreciate Secretary Kerry calling attention to Pastor Saeed’s worsening health. By becoming directly involved in this case, the U.S. sends a powerful message to Iran and our allies – our government will not stand by and abandon one of our own. By engaging the Pastor Saeed case at the highest level, we’re hopeful that the State Department will now do everything in its power to secure the release of this U.S. citizen.”
"I am very encouraged by Secretary Kerry's statement demanding Saeed's immediate release," said Naghmeh, Pastor Saeed's wife. "I am very happy to read that although Secretary Kerry has asked for medical treatment for Saeed, he does not stop there, and states that the best outcome is Saeed's immediate release. I hope to see more proactive actions from our government. Saeed and I are both proud to be Americans. I am hopeful that this will put more pressure on the Iranian government to act and free Saeed so he can return to our family in the United States.”
Secretary Kerry’s statement, posted here, comes just one day after the U.S. Ambassador Eileen C. Donahoe specifically cited Pastor Saeed's case at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva and called for his release. It comes one week after the State Department refused to participate in a hearing by the Congressional panel on Pastor Saeed’s case.
The statement also comes as a new letter from Pastor Saeed describes the toll the torture and beatings on his health.
Pastor Saeed, 32, has been imprisoned since last fall and is serving an 8-year prison sentence in Evin Prison, one of Iran’s most deadly prisons. The ACLJ has been working in this country and abroad to secure his freedom and has heard from nearly 550,000 people demanding his release.
The ACLJ represents Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh and their two young children in the U.S.
Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.
The Trump Administration has just announced it is freezing upwards of $1 billion in security assistance funds to Pakistan . For years, Pakistan has taken billions in U.S. tax dollars while supporting enemies of the United States, including the Taliban and Al Qaeda. No more. Now, they have a choice:
For almost thirty-nine years the people of Iran have lived under an oppressive theocratic regime that granted the Ayatollah unchecked power. Prior to that, until 1979, Iran was ruled by a constitutional monarchy, the last monarch being Reza Shah Pahlavi . While the Shah was an ally of the United...
Sparked by exploding food prices, high unemployment, and rising dissatisfaction with Iran’s corrupt plutocracy and the mounting incompetence of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Seyed Ali Khamenei, the most significant protests in eight years are rocking Iran . While the prior Administration cowered before...
Did the Obama Administration give one of the most notorious terrorist organizations a pass? Last week, Politico released a well-sourced and credible report about Obama-era officials obstructing an eight-year Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigation called Project Cassandra. We just...