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Imprisoned Pastor’s Wife Addresses UN Panel

Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen imprisoned for his faith in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons, testified this week in Geneva, Switzerland, before the United Nations Human Rights Council. Pastor Abedini was arrested by Iranian authorities last year for allegedly being a threat to Iran’s national security and has been subjected to severe interrogations, periods of solitary confinement, and physical assault.

Mrs. Abedini, an Idaho resident being aided by the American Center for Law and Justice, told the UN panel, “My husband has broken no Iranian law…. He simply exercised his fundamental rights that Iran has acknowledged before this body that it would uphold. Iran has kept Saeed imprisoned because he believes in forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ and that whoever accepts this forgiveness of sin can be reconciled to the God of peace and love. This is the God of peace we are all searching for.”

The White House issued a statement in support of Abedini after a FOX News reporter’s question last week: “We have reached out to numerous international partners to raise awareness of Mr. Abedini's case and to press Iranian officials to provide him medical attention and to release him…. As in every communication we send on this case, the Iranians refuse all requests, as they do not recognize Mr. Abedini's U.S. citizenship. We will continue to press for Mr. Abedini's release…"

Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President & CEO, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this year on behalf of Pastor Abedini. He declared, “We find it unconscionable that the Iranian government would violate its own law and international covenants by treating any individual, never mind an American citizen, with such enmity and abuse because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Dr. Wright urged State Department efforts toward Pastor Abedini’s release and safe passage back to the U.S.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 7, 2013

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