U.S. Senate Poised to Block Turkey’s Purchase of F-35s until American Pastor Brunson is Released | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

U.S. Senate Working for Pastor Brunson's Release

By ACLJ.org1528987952485

The U.S. Senate is now considering critical legislation in the push for Turkey to release American Pastor Andrew Brunson from prison. It is a part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and is the most significant legislative action on behalf of Pastor Brunson to date.

As we have previously reported, the level of engagement on behalf of Pastor Brunson by the U.S. government has been unprecedented. President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, and the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have all repeatedly and publicly called on Turkey to release Pastor Brunson.

Now, the U.S. Senate is poised to approve legislation that would, for the first time, inflict a significant penalty on Turkey should it not release Pastor Brunson, who has been held for more than 500 days in a Turkish prison because of his Christian faith. Specifically, Sec. 1269 of the National Defense Authorization Act would effectively require the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to remove Turkey from the F-35 program. This would deny Turkey access to the U.S.-built, state-of-the-art fighter jet—a move that would significantly curtail the modernization of Turkey’s air force.

Without this legislation, Turkey is poised to purchase 100 F-35s through a transaction that is approved and facilitated by the DOD. This kind of partnership makes strategic sense when the purchasing country is behaving like an ally of the U.S. and actively assisting with the global effort to defeat terrorism. It does not make sense when the purchasing country is behaving with hostility and imprisoning this innocent American for political reasons.

The Sec. 1269 language was added during consideration by the Senate Armed Services Committee, and was championed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).  It is common-sense language that inflicts an appropriate and significant penalty on Turkey should it not release Pastor Brunson.

After all, there is an easy way for Turkey to avoid this penalty and for this transaction to move forward. Turkey must simply release Pastor Brunson and allow him to return home to the U.S.

We applaud Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Tillis for their leadership on this effort, and we call on the U.S. Senate to quickly approve the NDAA, including Sec. 1269. Fortunately, the U.S. House has already approved its similar companion legislation. If the U.S. Senate can follow suit, we will call on both chambers to move quickly to reconcile any differences and send this timely legislation to the President for his signature.

Time is of the essence. It is far past time for Pastor Brunson to be released and able to return home. And it is high time for Congress to inflict a heavy penalty on Turkey until that end is achieved.

UPDATE 06.19.2018: On Monday, the U.S. Senate passed the NDAA, including Sec. 1269, by an overwhelming majority vote of 85-15. As we stated earlier, this bill, with the inclusion of Sec. 1269 prevents the DOD from selling F-35 fighter jets to Turkey. Now the bill will go to committee conference to negotiate the final draft. It is critical that the final bill contain this section, which essentially denies Turkey these key fighter jets as long as Turkey denies Pastor Andrew his freedom.

UPDATE 07.24.2018: The final version of the NDAA through the conference committee includes key language both calling for the release of imprisoned U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson and temporarily blocking the delivery of the much-desired F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.

The move officially forbids delivery of the 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters — which Turkey had hoped to use to modernize its air force—for 90 days, requiring a report be submitted to Congress. This could add the necessary pressure on Turkey to finally release Pastor Andrew in order to obtain the much needed weaponry. The defense authorization bill moves to a full vote in the House and Senate and then goes to the President for his signature.

Save Pastor Andrew from a Turkish Prison

Persecuted Church  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

As we aggressively fight for Pastor Andrew and other persecuted Christians, we urgently need your support. Every gift will be DOUBLED today. Have your gift doubled through our Matching Challenge.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.

The ACLJ Urges U.N. Pressure on Pakistan

By ACLJ.org1534183250381

Pakistani Christians often face violent persecution, torture, police abuse, and even murder because of their faith. We refuse to accept this and have taken action to defend these Christians. We just filed a critical legal submission through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and...

read more

Iran Sentences Pastor Youcef to 10+ Years

By ACLJ.org1533822948937

The situation for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has taken a dire turn. After a brutal home raid where he was attacked and arrested, Pastor Youcef has been imprisoned again, far away from his family. We recently told you how Iranian authorities in plain clothes violently beat Pastor Youcef in his home...

read more

Pastor Youcef Brutally Beaten and Arrested Again

By ACLJ.org1533310568442

Five years ago, we celebrated a major victory when due to the diligent legal advocacy work of the ACLJ and the unwavering support and prayers of ACLJ members, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani – sentenced to die in Iran for “apostasy” – was set free. Today we must ask you once again to pray for Pastor...

read more

Pastor Andrew Allowed to Return to Home in Turkey

By Jay Sekulow1532530024596

In a major development, American Pastor Andrew Brunson has been moved from the Turkish prison to his house in Turkey. The ACLJ represents the family of Pastor Andrew – a U.S. citizen from Black Mountain, North Carolina – who has spent nearly 21 months imprisoned in Turkey because of his Christian...

read more