Iran rejects jailed US pastor’s appeal

Pastor Saeed Abedini (ACLJ photo).
Pastor Saeed Abedini (ACLJ photo).

Originally published in CBN News

An Iranian court has rejected the appeal of Saeed Abedini, the American pastor jailed in Iran for his Christian faith, according the American Center for Law and Justice.

In a “devastating” blow to Abedini’s family, the ACLJ said the Tehran court refused to reduce the pastor’s eight-year prison sentence.

“This legal decision also signals a new level of concern for Pastor Saeed’s safety,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ, said in a statement Monday.

What’s the next step for Pastor Saeed and his family? The ACLJ’s Jordon Sekulow addresses that question and more on CBN’s “Newswatch,” Aug. 26.

“By keeping the 8-year prison sentence in place, Pastor Saeed, now potentially faces additional beatings and abuse inside Evin Prison — treatment that has significantly weakened him during his first year in prison,” he warned.

Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, expressed dismay over the U.S. government’s failure to intervene.

“As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic speech defending freedom by Dr. Martin Luther King, a brave American who gave his life to fight for the freedom that is so fundamental to our way of life, I am extremely disappointed that President Obama has chosen to remain silent on this critical human and religious rights case of an American imprisoned in Iran,” she said.

“I do hope and pray that as a nation we realize that if we do not speak out against injustice, it is only a matter of time before all our children will have to face what my children are facing today,” she continued. “As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'”

Meanwhile, the ACLJ vowed continue its efforts to secure Abedini’s release.

“We are exploring all options with Pastor Saeed’s family, including options in this country and abroad to bring more pressure on Iran from the U.S. and other countries around the world,” Sekulow said.

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