Pastor Saeed Abedini has been placed in a single cell with five death row inmates in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj and is prevented from having any visitors, the American Center for Law and Justice said, raising further concerns that officials placed him there to "disappear."
"Rajai Shahr is a murders' jail. It's a violent criminals' jail," said ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow on Fox News following news that the U.S. pastor was abruptly transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran on Monday.
"He is not allowed any visitors, and he is under quarantine. He is in Ward 9, which is the murders' ward. So he's sharing a 10x10 cell with five people who have been convicted of violent crimes, these are people who are basically on death row. So unlike being in a prison that is horrendous and you may face torture, you are now imprisoned with people who are just as violent as maybe those prison guards." more >>
Pastor Saeed Abedini is in great danger after he was abruptly transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj where he will be held in a ward with violent criminals, the American Center for Law and Justice revealed, urging President Barack Obama to take immediate diplomatic action to save his life.
"This new and extremely dangerous development requires the full attention and focus of President Obama. He must speak out now – directly and forcefully – to save Pastor Saeed's life. Pastor Saeed's life is in grave danger," the ACLJ, which represents his wife and two children in the U.S., said in a statement on Monday.
Abedini, a U.S. citizen who was arrested over a year ago and sentenced to eight years in prison because of his Christian faith, had been serving his time in Evin Prison, with other political prisoners. An international campaign calling for his release has also been backed by Obama, who previously spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the issue. more >>
Pastor Saeed Abedini has revealed that he and fellow prisoners in Tehran are waiting on Iran to follow through with promises to start releasing thousands of prisoners of conscience, which so far has not happened.
"In recent weeks, hopes had been high that Iran was preparing to do the right thing and release Pastor Saeed and other prisoners of conscious as part of a good faith showing under newly elected president Hassan Rouhani," said a statement by the American Center for Law and Justice, which is representing Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, and their two children in the U.S.
The Iranian-American pastor has been imprisoned in Evin Prison in Tehran for more than a year, serving an 8-year sentence. The ACLJ has said that the pastor is being punished for his Christian faith – a fate that a number of other prisoners of conscience in the Islamic country are also facing. more >>
Iranian authorities have deported a U.S. priest who had organized a protest outside the notorious Evin prison in Tehran to demand the release of Iranian Christians.
Father Eddie Romero was detained and interrogated October 21st in Tehran after he called upon Iranian authorities to release five imprisoned Iranian Christians.
Father Romero had been detained in 2008, during the Olympics in Beijing, after a protest demanding the release of activists detained in China. more >>
Four Iranian Christians are set to receive 80 lashes each as punishment for drinking communion wine at a house church, while Iran faced further criticism in a U.N. report on its human rights record.
"The sentences handed down to these members of the Church of Iran effectively criminalise the Christian sacrament of sharing in the Lord's Supper and constitute an unacceptable infringement on the right to practice faith freely and peaceably," said Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), who reported the news earlier this week.
"We urge the Iranian authorities to ensure that the nation's legal practices and procedures do not contradict its international obligation under the International Convent on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to guarantee the full enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief by all of its religious communities." more >>
A U.S. pastor from California who was arrested earlier this week while protesting in front of Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran, where Pastor Saeed Abedini is set to return home on Wednesday, described the experience as an "honor."
Eddie Romero of Exodus8one, a faith group with a mission to "engage belligerent governments/societies (with respect to faith) directly in order to address the injustice towards Christians and other religious minorities," was arrested on Monday in Tehran in front of the prison. He had been shouting "let my people go" in the Farsi language, and demanded the freedom of four Christian converts and a human rights advocate being kept there, including Pastor Saeed Abedini.
Abedini, the Iranian-American pastor sentenced to eight years in prison, passed the 1-year mark of his imprisonment last month. His story has attracted major international attention, with President Barack Obama and hundreds of thousands of people around the world petitioning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for his release. more >>