Moments ago, our team at the United Nations (U.N.) presented an oral intervention before the U.N. Human Rights Council on behalf of imprisoned Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini.
Our international affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), made the presentation on behalf of Pator Saeed – a U.S. citizen imprisoned and tormented in Iran because of his Christian faith – early this afternoon in Geneva, Switzerland.
Our team once again directly raised the horrendous plight Pastor Saeed endures. In our prepared remarks, we stated:
By trying and imprisoning Mr. Abedini because of his religious expression, peaceful association, and assembly of religious believers, the Islamic Republic of Iran is violating its obligations under the UN Charter and Mr. Abedini’s fundamental rights.
Over the last two years, Mr. Abedini was: (1) arrested and imprisoned by Iranian Revolutionary Guard; (2) repeatedly beaten in prison; (3) denied access to medical care made necessary by this abuse; (4) denied access to his attorney until mere hours before his trial; (5) given a sham trial before a judge so notoriously biased and corrupt that he was condemned by the European Union for issuing egregious verdicts; (6) disallowed, along with his counsel, from attending the second day of his trial; and (7) sentenced to eight years in prison for exercising his Christian faith.
Importantly, our team also directly highlighted the U.N.’s own findings that Pastor Saeed’s detention is “arbitrary”:
Despite recommendations from the UNHRC Working Group on Arbitrary Dentition issued on 26 August 2013, which found his detention in violation with international covenants and urged his immediate release, the Islamic Republic of Iran has continued to detain Mr. Abedini while denying him access to necessary medical care. Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran fails to uphold its international obligations as well as basic principles of human dignity.
Critically, we concluded by urging the U.N. Human Rights Council to demand Iran immediately release Pastor Saeed.
Earlier this week, ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow testified before Congress about the plight of persecuted Christians across the globe and emphasized that each and every time we raise our voices for Pastor Saeed it helps keep him alive as we fight for his freedom.
Please continue to pray for Pastor Saeed, share his latest heartbreaking letter (where he explains to his son that his “chains” keep him from attending his birthday), and sign our petition for his freedom.
We take these petitions to Congress; we take them to the U.N. World leaders are now keenly aware that hundreds of thousands of people around the world are demanding Pastor Saeed’s freedom.
Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.