It’s unlike any judicial system in the world. Yesterday, American Pastor Saeed Abedini went to court in Iran with his attorney to address charges of attempting to undermine the Iranian government. The real problem: he converted from Islam to Christianity 13 years ago and started working with house-churches in Iran.
Pastor Saeed and his attorney were able to present a strong defense before a Revolutionary Guard Court yesterday before an Iranian judge who has faced sanctions by the European Union because of his harsh sentences for those on trial for exercising a fundamental human right.
Today, a different story. Pastor Saeed and his attorney were shut out of today’s proceedings. Not permitted to attend his own trial. We have been told that the court summoned other pastors to testify today. We do not yet know what was said in court, but we do know that the Iranian government often uses threats and intimidation to get the testimony it wants.
All of this is happening as Iran tries to implement a media campaign of distortion – releasing false reports that Pastor Saeed is about to be released on bail. The fact is nothing could be further from the truth.
As I told Bill Hemmer on America’s Newsroom on FOX this morning, Iran is simply not telling the truth. Pastor Saeed remains in prison. Bail has repeatedly been rejected by Iranian officials, despite multiple attempts to post bail.
I want you to know that we are doing all that we can to get the U.S. government to fully engage in Pastor Saeed’s case. Sadly, there’s still silence from the State Department and Secretary of State Clinton. No public call for his immediate release. No condemnation of the imprisonment of this U.S. citizen.
We remain very concerned about the fate of Pastor Saeed. We represent his wife, Naghmeh and their two children, who reside in the United States.
We will continue to bring you updates about what is taking place at Pastor Saeed’s trial. At the same time, take a moment and add your name to our Petition to Free American Pastor Saeed and encourage our State Department and White House to fully engage this issue to secure the freedom of this U.S. citizen.
Jay Sekulow is Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), one of the most prestigious law firms in the country. He is an accomplished Supreme Court advocate, renowned expert on religious liberty, and a respected broadcaster. Jay Sekulow is an attorney with a passion for protecting religious liberty – freedom – democracy.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.