After International Outcry, Iran Reverses Course and Removes Shackles from U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini
March 14, 2014
(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which is working to secure the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini from an Iranian prison, said today Iran now claims that the violent treatment of American Pastor Saeed – who was shackled and ordered to return to his prison cell yesterday before receiving the critical medical treatment he needs – was a “mistake” and should not have occurred.
This new development comes one day after the ACLJ called international attention to the worsening plight of Pastor Saeed – who was promised surgery to repair injuries he suffered from prison beatings – only to have the Iranian government deny the surgery, put him in shackles and threaten to return him to his prison cell without medical treatment.
Today, a family member of Pastor Saeed went to Rajai Shahr Prison to find out why he was denied medical care. He was told by prison officials that the whole ordeal was a “mistake” and that the warden called the hospital and ordered that Pastor Saeed be unchained and permitted to visit the family member. The family member was able to visit with Pastor Saeed briefly at the hospital. He was not in shackles at the time but had not received any medical treatment. More>
From B Harmon Contributor:
Pastor Saeed Abedini’s health has taken a turn for the worse. His deteriorating medical condition is due to numerous prison beatings. A little over a week ago Saeed was taken to a private hospital in Iran. He was told that he would receive various tests and surgery but on Tuesday that all changed. The Iranian guards lashed out at him and his visitor (an elderly relative) and the relative was abruptly expelled from the hospital.
The guards told him that due to a court order he had to be put in shackles and was told that he would have to leave the hospital without the surgery and the test results. He was also denied pain medication for his injuries.
The European Union has been faithfully raising Abedini’s case for quite some time and his trip to the hospital was to save face with the EU’s visit to Iran. This way it would look like they were giving him the medical treatment he so badly needed. This disturbing turn of events only reiterates the need to keep pressure on Iran for each time the pressure lets up, the situation gets worse.
The Iranian government is despitefully abusing Abedni and denying him medical attention all because he is a Christian. Every day he is away from his family and the care of a Physician poses a more serious human rights abuse.
March 21 marks the Iranian new year which is a time when clemency is often granted to prisoners of conscience. If there was ever a time that Pastor Saeed might be granted clemency it is now.
Jordan Sekulow is continuing to fight for Abedini’s freedom. Right now his legal teams from the US and International offices are meeting with world leaders at the UN office in Geneva on Pastor Saeed’s behalf.
As Marc 21st draws near, now is the time to join in prayer for Pastor Saeed and his family. We need not rest until Saeed is free.