Iran Human RightsIran sentences US Christian to eight years: group

Iran sentences US Christian to eight years: group


AFP: A Tehran court on Sunday sentenced an Iranian-American pastor to eight years in prison over his role in underground churches in the Islamic nation, a US group supporting him said. WASHINGTON (AFP) — A Tehran court on Sunday sentenced an Iranian-American pastor to eight years in prison over his role in underground churches in the Islamic nation, a US group supporting him said.

Saeed Abedini, a naturalized US citizen who converted to Christianity, was convicted of threatening Iran’s national security over underground church activities a decade ago, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.

The Washington-based conservative legal advocacy group said Abedini and his lawyer were only allowed to attend one day of the trial, which began on January 21. There was no immediate confirmation of the verdict in Tehran.

“I am devastated for my husband and my family. We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil,” Naghmeh, his wife and mother of their two children, said in a statement.

She described as “psychological torture” an account from Iran at the start of the trial that Abedini would be released on bail.

Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, said that a revolutionary court judge seen as close to Iran’s clerical leadership handed down the verdict verbally, not in written form as required.

“Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled on the fundamentals of human rights. We call on the citizens of the world to rise up in protest,” he said.

Abedini’s supporters said that he led underground churches in the early 2000s when such activity was largely tolerated during the reform-minded presidency of Mohammad Khatami.

After he resettled in the United States, Abedini was detained on a return trip to Iran in 2009 and let go following an agreement not to engage in underground religious activities, according to his family.

Naghmeh Abedini said that her husband complied with the 2009 agreement and had returned to Iran as part of efforts to build an orphanage.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Friday reiterated US concerns over the fairness of the trial.

“We condemn Iran’s continued violation of the universal rights of freedom of religion, and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini’s human rights and to release him,” she said.

Iran’s constitution following the 1979 Islamic revolution recognizes the rights of several religious minorities including Christians, but the regime has targeted converted former Muslims.

Latest news

Iran Regime’s Response to Protests Censorship and Violence

The Iranian regime’s leadership has reacted to the ongoing wave of protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, the...

Iran’s New Generation Seeks Nothing but Regime Change

In a silly and desperate statement, the Iranian regime’s foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian claimed that nothing special is going...

Iran’s Youths Broke the Spell of Fear

One of the main characteristics of the recent protests in Iran is the courage and fearlessness of the people,...

Iran Is on the Brink of a Revolution

The wall of fear has been broken. In many cities across Iran, women are taking to the streets, leading...

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

What Is Happening in Iran?

Following the brutal killing of Masha Amini, the Iranian people have once again united to fight and defeat the...

Must read

U.S. weighing terrorist label for Iran guards

New York Times: The Bush administration is preparing to...

Israel sees new US poise, including military, to curb Iran

Reuters: U.S.-led efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program have...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you