MATTHEW CLARK, ACLJ
An American citizen stands trial before an infamous “hanging judge” after sustaining beatings and abuse by his Iranian captors simply because of his Christian faith. Yet, with his January 21st sham trial and unthinkable mockery of justice at hand, has our government abandoned Pastor Saeed Abedini?
The State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and his Press Secretary have failed to call for this American citizen’s release. Yet, we know that each have spoken out in the past when Iran has threatened an Iranian Christian pastor; why not for one of our own?
In the case of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was imprisoned in Iran facing execution for his faith, the White House made multiple statements “condemn[ing] the conviction of Pastor Youcef” and “demand[ing] Pastor Nadarkhani’s immediate release.” The White House Press Secretary publicly urged “people of conscience and governments around the world to reach out to Iranian authorities” to secure his release. And when he was eventually released, Deputy National Security Advisor, Denis McDonough, publicly stated that the Administration “welcome[d] the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.” So too, the State Department and Secretary of State Clinton made multiple statements on Pastor Youcef’s behalf, calling for his “immediate release.”
Yet, the White House has been nearly silent when it comes to a U.S. citizen who has been told he “will hang” for his faith. The only thing we have heard from the White House is a statement from the National Security Counsel spokesman, provided only to those who specifically requested it, calling for Pastor Saeed’s immediate release.
Even worse, the State Department has expressed its “serious concerns about the fate” of Pastor Saeed, acknowledging that he is a U.S. citizen facing a “hearing soon” on “charges related to his religious beliefs,” but has still failed to call for his release. Even now, just hours before he is set to face trial before a “hanging judge,” the State Department has refused to simply call for this American citizen’s release.
The response from the State Department and the White House on behalf of this U.S. citizen being persecuted and beaten in Iran for his faith is absolutely abysmal. It is shameful that our government has thus far basically abandoned this American citizen.
When enough pressure is placed on this Administration, it will take action. We saw it in the case of Pastor Youcef. The same pressure must again be brought to bear on this Administration. It can no longer drag its feet. An American citizen stands trial for his religious beliefs and faces possible death. We cannot keep silent; we must speak out.
Join the ACLJ and over 150,000 Americans in demanding action on Pastor Saeed’s behalf. Sign our petition today.
Used with the permission of the ACLJ.