American Pastor Saeed Abedini is facing grave danger in an Iranian prison. The 33-year-old father of two was arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison for practicing Christianity. Most recently, the Christian pastor was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj. The prison is one of the most dangerous institutions in the world.
Abedini was originally incarcerated at Evin Prison in Tehran, among other inmates accused of political crime. Without warning or explanation, he was sent to a prison that houses some of Iran’s most violent criminals.
In addition to his sudden and unexpected transfer, he is being denied contact with his family. As reported by Washington Post, the transfer could cost the pastor his life.
Going to Karaj is a severe punishment… political prisoners have to share cells with dangerous criminals like murderers, rapists and drug addicts… many of them are condemned to death anyway. Murders or unexplained deaths are a regular occurrence.”
President Barack Obama discussed Pastor Saeed Abedini’s imprisonment with Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani. However, his pleas were ignored. The US Senate is currently working toward a resolution, which asks Iran’s government to release Abedini and “all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.”
Throughout the last year, Abedini has been the victim of relentless interrogation, ruthless prosecution, and numerous physical assaults. As reported by Fox News, the only charge against him is practicing and preaching Christianity, which is a criminal offense under Iranian law.
The dual citizen of the US and Iran, was arrested while visiting his homeland. He was in the process of arranging the construction of an orphanage.
During his time in Evin Prison, Abedini was allowed weekly visits with his family in Iran. However, he was not allowed phone calls with his wife and children in the US. Following his transfer, he was denied all contact with his family.
Pastor Saeed Abedini is in grave danger in the Rajai Shahr Prison. A petition has been created to urge President Obama to “take immediate and decisive diplomatic action for his freedom.” The petition currently has more than 160,000 signatures.
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