U.N. Condemns American Pastor Saeed’s “Arbitrary” Imprisonment as We Urge his Release | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion


UN Condemns Pastor Saeed’s Imprisonment

By Jordan Sekulow1411161735000

The United Nations Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention this week released a 6-page report condemning the “arbitrary” and illegal detention of American Pastor Saeed Abedini and urging his immediate “release.”

The report details how Pastor Saeed was detained in Iran while finalizing the details of a government approved orphanage in July 2012, was subjected to a sham trial on charges related solely to his religious beliefs, and has spent nearly two years behind bars, enduring periods of solitary confinement and brutal beatings, because of his Christian faith.

It further highlights how he has suffered internal injuries from those beatings and has been denied critically needed medical care.

The U.N. Working Group’s report finds:

The Working Group considers that in the case under consideration Mr. Abedini has been deprived of his liberty for peacefully exercising the rights to freedom of religion, belief, and association, as guaranteed under article 19 of the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights], and articles 18(1) and 19(2) of the ICCPR [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]. . . .

The Working Group also considers that in this case Mr. Abedini has been deprived of his liberty for being a practicing Christian for reasons of discrimination based on religion, in violation of articles 2 and 7 of the UDHR, as well as articles 18 and 26 of the ICCPR. . . .

The Working Group considers that the non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial in this case, namely article 10 of the UDHR and article 14(3) (b), (d) and (e) of the ICCPR, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Abedini an arbitrary character.

Based on these finding’s the U.N. Working Group concludes:

Consequent upon the opinion rendered, the Working Group requests the Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Abedini and bring it into conformity with the standards and principles set forth in the UDHR and the ICCPR.

The Working Group believes that, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the adequate remedy would be to release Mr. Abedini and accord him an enforceable right to compensation in accordance with article 9.5 of the ICCPR.

In accordance with article 33(a) of its Revised Methods of Work, the Working Group considers it appropriate to refer the allegations of torture to the Special Rapporteur on torture for appropriate action.

The U.N. Human Rights Council Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s findings and recommendations are a significant step forward in the fight for Pastor Saeed’s freedom.

The international body’s recognition of the wrongful imprisonment and inhumane treatment of Pastor Saeed merely because of his Christian faith opens the door to further international efforts to secure his freedom.

We welcome the Working Group’s strong statement demanding Pastor Saeed’s immediate release.  We continue to urge the U.N. and the U.S. State Department to do more to secure Pastor Saeed’s freedom.  For Iran, Pastor Saeed’s release would send a powerful signal that change has come to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Our team at the U.N., lead by our international affiliate the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), an official NGO with the U.N., presented an oral intervention today at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Pastor Saeed’s behalf. 

We emphasized the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s report and called on the U.N. to “act on its recommendations.”

Dr. Grégor Puppinck, Executive Director of the ECLJ, concluded his presentation stating:

We therefore respectfully urge this body to act, to take up the cause of Mr. Abedini, and call on the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Abedini.  It is time for the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect the rights of Mr. Abedini and return this innocent man to his wife and two young children.

You can watch our oral intervention at the U.N. above.

This presentation at the U.N. allowed us to once again speak on behalf of the hundreds of thousands who have signed the petition for Pastor Saeed’s freedom at BeHeardProject.com.

Next week, September 26th, will mark the 2-year anniversary of Pastor Saeed’s illegal imprisonment in Iran for his Christian faith.

That day will be marked by coordinated prayer vigils in hundreds of cities throughout dozens of countries around the world.  Learn more about a vigil in your area at SaeedVigil.com.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Saeed’s freedom as we continue fighting across the globe for his release.

Demand Clemency for Pastor Saeed

Middle East  Signatures


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

Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

Because of your support, we have taken Pastor Saeed's case to the U.N., White House, and Congress. Your support makes his defense possible. 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.

Time to Reform the United Nations

By Harry G. Hutchison1505850311447

This week President Trump took his robust agenda for reform to the United Nations (U.N.). President Trump said : “ … I am confident that if we work together and champion truly bold reforms, the United Nations will emerge as a stronger, more effective, more just and greater force for peace and...

read more

Continuing Anti-Israel Bias at UN

By Skip Ash1444338806822

Once again the United Nations (U.N.) has made a bad situation worse, issuing reckless statements in the wake of more jihadist murders of Israeli civilians. We’re taking direct action. Following closely on the heels of the recent public renunciation of the Oslo Accords by Palestinian Authority...

read more

Implications of the Palestinian...

By Skip Ash1443732176771

On September 30, 2015, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, addressed the UN General Assembly in his role as “President of Palestine.” In his UN address , Mr. Abbas recited his rendition of the history of Palestine and, as he so often does, accused Israel of all manner of...

read more

Rouhani Spikes Nuclear Football

By Matthew Clark1443472533367

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani spiked the nuclear football in his U.N. victory speech in New York this afternoon. Complete with threats against the “Zionist Regime” (Israel), blaming the U.S. for ISIS’s dominance in the Middle East, and empty promises about its nuclear ambitions, the president of...

read more