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.”
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,
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
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
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.”