US condemns sentencing of American pastor in Iran

January 28, 2013 04:05

WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Sunday condemned an Iranian court for sentencing an Iranian-American Christian pastor to eight years in prison.

The State Department said it had confirmed reports of Saeed Abedini's sentencing with the family's attorney and called for his release.

"We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion and we call on the Iranian authorities to respect Mr. Abedini's human rights and release him," State Department spokesperson Darby Holladay said.

Hollaway said Abedini's attorney had only one day to present his defense and the department was deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of his trial.

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