Members of Congress have just sent a critical letter to the foreign secretary of India calling for the immediate release of our client, American Pastor Bryan Nerren.
Pastor Nerren is a U.S. Pastor from Tennessee who has been ministering in Nepal and India for almost two decades, training Sunday School teachers. However, on his most recent trip, in October of last year, he was arrested, incarcerated, charged with, and being held for a crime he did not commit. He has now been detained in India for over five months, although an offer to resolve the matter was offered and accepted last month.
Today, Senators Marsha Blackburn (TN) and James Lankford (OK), along with Representatives Scott DesJarlais (TN-4) and Jody Hice (GA-10) sent a letter to Indian Foreign Secretary Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla calling for Pastor Nerren’s immediate release. They wrote:
We write to bring your attention to the case of Bryan Kevin Nerren Sr. of Shelbyville, Tennessee. We are immediately concerned with the health of the Nerren family, including Mr. Nerren’s daughter with special needs, who has been hospitalized with pneumonia as Mr. Nerren remains in India without a clear point of return.
They explained in detail the conditions of his arrest and detainment and all of the steps he has taken to comply with offers and conditions imposed by India on him including the arrest and payment of fines, far beyond what Indian law requires. Their letter concludes:
Following nearly five months of court dates, provision of additional documents, and requirements beyond the original conditions of Mr. Nerren’s arrest, Mr. Nerren remains in Siliguri, India. We request that India uphold their end of the offer, as Mr. Nerren has upheld his, by finalizing the compounding of the offense and allowing him to return to his family.
The U.S.-India relationship is a vital and healthy one, as exhibited by President Trump’s recent visit to Delhi. We do not wish for bureaucratic posturing in this case – which can now be simply closed according to Indian law – to become an impediment in that relationship. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
As Senator Blackburn rightly noted, “Mr. Nerren’s case has been tried and resolved. It is time for him to come home to Shelbyville and be with his family.”
As we have been representing Pastor Nerren and his wife, we have been working closely with Senators Blackburn and Lankford and Representatives DesJarlais and Hice in this effort, as well as the U.S. State Department and other officials. We are thankful for their tireless efforts and are hopeful that Indian officials will indeed uphold their end of the offer and take the necessary steps to immediately return Pastor Nerren to his family in the U.S.
It’s time for him to come home.
Take action with us and sign our petition to join the efforts for his freedom.
This article is co-authored by ACLJ Senior Counsel CeCe Heil.
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