Iran sends jailed US pastor to ‘hanging judge’
BERLIN – Iranian authorities have recently assigned the case of imprisoned American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini to a Tehran judge sanctioned by the European Union for human rights violations.
Jordan Sekulow, the executive director of the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) wrote The Jerusalem Post by email on Thursday saying, “This development underscores our growing concern for Pastor Saeed. In a country that’s hostile to human rights and religious freedom, the news that Pastor Saeed’s case has now been handed over to one of Iran’s most notorious judges is deeply troubling. In a real sense, Pastor Saeed is an American abandoned in Iran.”
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The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional and human rights law, announced Thursday that American Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen being held in an Iranian prison because of his Christian faith, has told his family that he is being threatened with death.
The letter, released Thursday to family members in Iran, comes just days after the ACLJ learned that his case has now been turned over to an Iranian “hanging judge.”
“The life of Pastor Saeed is in grave danger,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ. “When you read Pastor Saeed’s own words, you understand that Iran has absolutely no regard for human rights and religious freedom. And now facing one of Iran’s most notorious judges, Pastor Saeed is in a real sense an American abandoned in Iran.
“The U.S. State Department has done very little to help this U.S. citizen. We continue to press the Obama administration to engage this case—to speak out forcefully on Pastor Saeed’s behalf and put pressure on Iran’s allies to free this American. Time is of the essence.”
In a letter released to family members in Tehran Friday, Pastor Saeed underscores the danger he faces daily:
“This is the process in my life today: one day I am told I will be freed and allowed to see my family and kids on Christmas (which was a lie) and the next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus. One day there are intense pains after beatings in interrogations, the next day they are nice to you and offer you candy,” Pastor Saeed wrote.