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Published On: Fri, May 23rd, 2014

Family witnessed Pastor Saeed Abedini removed from hospital, beaten says wife

The American pastor was receiving treatment for injuries he reportedly received from guards and fellow inmates at Rajai Shahr prison in Iran. Relatives say Abedini was abruptly removed from the hospital and taken back to jail.

Naghmeh Saeed AbediniPastor Saeed Abedini has been jailed for well over a year now in Iran. His wife Naghmeh Abedini, who has been campaigning for his release, said her family was “devastated” by the news.

“Saeed’s family, who was present at the hospital when this occurred, witnessed the severe beatings that Saeed received — at one point seeing him collapse before being taken away,” Naghmeh told Fox this week. “We’re very concerned about his health.”

Abedini, 35, was taken in custody during September 2012. In March he was transferred to a hospital to receive care for the injuries he had already endured. Naghmeh spoke with The Global Dispatch after Saeed was moved to a more dangerous prison in late 2012 and then gave an update on his condition during a Dispatch Radio interview.

“It is a very disturbing development that underscores what we have known from the very beginning – there is much upheaval and uncertainty in Iran,” Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which also represents Abedini’s family, told FoxNews.com.

“We’ve been hopeful since Pastor Saeed has spent the last two months in the hospital, instead of a prison cell. But this unexpected move raises great concern.”

In fact, Sekulow peneed an article himself noting the responses from the Obama administration and State Department:

We’re grateful for President Obama directly raising Pastor Saeed’s plight with Iran’s president last fall and highlighting Pastor Saeed at the National Prayer Breakfast in February.

But this new disturbing development warrants even more involvement from our government to save this innocent U.S. citizen.

In response to Pastor Saeed’s beatings and return to prison, the State Department provided this written statement to a reporter:

“We remain concerned about Mr. Abedini’s health and welfare, especially given reports of mistreatment during his transfer back to Rajai Shahr prison. We repeat our request for Iran to permit Mr. Abedini to receive any necessary medical treatment, and to grant Swiss officials, who serve as our protecting power, consular access to determine his well-being. We remain in touch with Mr. Abedini’s family regarding developments in his case. We call on Iran to release Mr. Abedini so that he may be reunited with his family.”

A paper statement should be just the beginning. During this critical time, the U.S. government needs to call attention to Pastor Saeed’s plight. The president and his top leaders must publicly engage with this case again and demand that Iran release this U.S. citizen.

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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