American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is still
imprisoned in Iran and reportedly is abused and
tortured by Iranian jailers. (Screenshot: ACLJ)
(CNSNews.com) – Imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini was reportedly abused and threatened with new charges as the third year anniversary of his imprisonment approaches Saturday, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents the Abedini family.
The report comes days before President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“Yesterday in Iran, Iranian intelligence officers summoned Pastor Saeed for an intense round of interrogation,” ACLJ reported on Thursday. “Pastor Saeed reported to his family that the interrogators were abusive both verbally and physically. During the course of interrogation, the officers repeatedly used a taser gun on Pastor Saeed.”
The ACLJ calls this new information “concerning” because “Pastor Saeed is still being denied needed medical care for injuries sustained as a result of beatings in the past.”
The ACLJ says the interrogators have also threatened Pastor Saeed with new criminal charges.
“They claimed Pastor Saeed has connections with anti-government groups and has made statements and taken actions against the government of Iran,” the report said. “Pastor Saeed denied all of these allegations, and once again asserted that he is apolitical and that he has never threatened the security of, made any statements against, or taken any action against the Government of Iran.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be addressing the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday, Sept. 28, and Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, is calling for world leaders to use the opportunity to speak on her husband’s behalf.
Hasan Rouhani, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. (AP)
“When will this nightmare end? Saeed is not a criminal.” Nagmeh Abedini said. “Being a Christian and motivated by Christian values to help the poorest and most needy children in Iran should be seen as good for the Iranian society. Hearing that yet again the hardliners in Iran are trying to fabricate evidence against my husband and that he was abused and tasered is almost too much to bear.”
“It is time for governments all over the world to shift their focus to the injustices of the Iranian Government and call on the Government of Iran to free my husband,” she said.
“It is time for businesses seeking to do business in Iran to look beyond their bottom dollar and see the instability of a government known to imprison innocent men and women who have exercised their fundamental freedoms. Whether we operate in the field of business, government, or simply are members of human society, we must expect and demand more of our leaders.”
“I pray that as President Rouhani plans his travel to the United States next week, he will hear relentless voices crying out for Saeed’s freedom,” Nagmeh concluded.
Nagmeh spoke last week before 100 parliamentarians from nearly 50 countries calling on their aid for her husband. Following Nagmeh’s speech, 67 parliamentarians signed a letter to the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament calling for Saeed’s release. Nagmeh has also called on Pope Francis to advocate for her husband’s release.
Pastor Saeed is a Christian convert from Islam and ran a network of Iranian house churches before leaving for America with Naghmeh, in 2005. He later became a naturalized United States citizen.
He returned to Iran several times and established an orphanage before he was arrested in 2012 and sentenced in 2013 to eight years in jail for leading underground congregations.