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Iran: Jailed pastor describes ‘psychological abuse'

February 24, 2013 01:33

Prison authorities in Tehran ratchet up pressure on American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini to renounce Christianity.

American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini with family

American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini with family 370. (photo credit:Courtesy ACLJ)

BERLIN – Iran’s prison authorities have ratcheted up the pressure on American- Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini to renounce Christianity.

In a letter written by the 32- year-old Abedini – and released on Friday – he says the conditions in Tehran’s Evin Prison, are “so very difficult that my eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky.”

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In his first letter from Abedini since his conviction in January for practicing Christianity in the Islamic Republic, he wrote, “They are only waiting for one thing... for me to deny Christ... But they will never get this from me.”

The Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice released Saaed’s letter.

ACLJ works to promote religious freedom in the US and across the globe.

“It’s our hope that this latest communication only intensifies efforts in this country and abroad to pressure Iran to release this US citizen,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of ACLJ, which represents Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and children who reside in Boise, Idaho.

Naghmeh Abedini, said, “It is heart-wrenching to hear of Saeed’s continued abuse and torture in the Iranian prison.

We have known for some time that he is facing physical and psychological abuse.

Now our worst fears have been confirmed. He continues to face life-threatening abuse at the hands of the Iranian officials simply because of his faith in Jesus.”

ACLJ filed a request last week with the UN Human Rights Council, calling on the Geneva-based body to urge Tehran to immediately release Abedini. ACLJ cited in the request “Iran’s violations of international law and human rights abuses.”

Last week, more than 80 members of the US Congress sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to “exhaust every possible option to secure Mr. Abedini’s immediate release.”
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