After the Outcry of Thousands American Pastor Saeed Unshackled But Still Untreated
Yesterday, we shared with you disturbing news about how Pastor Saeed Abedini was denied much needed medical treatment, shackled, refused visits from family, and ordered to return to his prison cell. Your outcry was immense, and today we are seeing results of your continued pressure.
Thousands took to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sharing what was happening to Pastor Saeed and asking for prayer. Thousands more prayed for his situation.
Today, we are learning that Iranian officials have reversed course. Pastor Saeed has been unshackled, allowed to stay in the hospital, and family who is still in Iran has been able to see him this morning. However, even with this positive development, the reality is that he has still not been treated. He is in critical need of surgery after prolonged internal injuries he received from prison beatings.
A week and a half ago he was quietly moved from Rajai Shahr Prison to a private hospital in Iran and promised medical treatment. Then yesterday, without explanation, Iranian guards banned family members and lashed out violently. Pastor Saeed was shackled, refused any medical treatment, and ordered to return to prison.
A family member in Iran then went to Iranian prison officials and asked for an explanation. The prison official told him the whole ordeal – the shackles, the refused medical treatment, and the order to return to prison – was a “mistake.”
The warden then called the hospital and ordered that Pastor Saeed be unchained and permitted to visit the family member. The family member was able to visit with Pastor Saeed briefly at the hospital. He was not in shackles but had not received any medical treatment.
The voices and prayers of the worldwide community truly have made and continue to make a difference. 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. 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 on his behalf.
Pastor Saeed is unshackled but still untreated.
It is imperative that the American people and world leaders around the globe continue to speak out for Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – call for medical treatment, and most importantly demand that he be allowed to return home to his wife and children.
The start of the Iranian new year on March 21st is often a time when the Iranian government offers clemency to prisoners of conscience. 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.
Continue to raise your voice. Pray for Pastor Saeed. Sign the petition for his freedom at BeHeardProject.com. Share his critical plight with everyone you know. Your voice continues to have a tremendous impact.
With your help, we can bring 33-year-old Pastor Saeed – an innocent man imprisoned for his faith – back home to his loving wife and adoring children here in the U.S.