American Pastor Shackled in Iran

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) this week drew attention to a new offense against Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen brutally imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith. ACLJ, an NRB member, reported that he had been moved from the infamous Rajai Shahr Prison to a private hospital, where “he would receive further tests on his deteriorating medical condition and undergo surgery to address chronic pain in his stomach area – the result of numerous prison beatings.” However, following a week of medical attention, though not surgery, guards again turned violently on him and he was shackled. After international attention, it appears the Iranian authorities unshackled him, but Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ, stated, “It’s extremely disturbing that the Iranian government continues to play games with the life of this U.S. citizen…. We are continuing to fight for Pastor Saeed’s freedom.” He added that March 21, the start of the Iranian new year, is a time when Iranian authorities have offered clemency to some prisoners in the past, and could do the same for Pastor Abedini, if they so choose.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: March 14, 2014