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American pastor jailed in Iran now missing

Posted By Michael Carl On 01/24/2013 @ 2:36 pm In Faith,Front Page,U.S.,World | No Comments

A report coming from Iran today says the location of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini is unknown.

American Center for Law and Justice spokesman Gene Kapp said Iranian officials claimed they were moving the pastor to provide him better medical care.

“The judge in the case told Pastor Saeed’s attorney that he would transfer Pastor Saeed to another ward at the Evin Prison to receive better medical care,” Kapp said.

The pastor’s family and attorney have not been able to confirm his transfer or current whereabouts, according to Kapp.

The ACLJ said in a statement that the judge giving the order to move Abedini is a “hanging judge.”

“It’s important to note this is one of Iran’s hanging judges who told family members that Pastor Saeed would be released on bail. The fact is the family’s repeated efforts to secure Pastor Saeed’s bail have been flatly rejected by Iranian officials, and Judge Pir-Abassi’s own right-hand man threatened a family friend to stop assisting Pastor Saeed’s family,” the statement said.

The development follows repeated denials of bail for the pastor. Earlier this week, Abedini was denied the opportunity to appear in court for the second day of his hearing.

The pastor is accused of attempting to undermine the Iranian government.

“The people need to continue to press the White House and the State Department for action,” Kapp said.

In an earlier interview with WND, ACLJ President Jordan Sekulow agreed.

“Clearly, the most meaningful and important engagement must come from the State Department – Secretary of State Clinton – and President Obama. And so far, they have failed to condemn Iran and demand Pastor Saeed’s immediate and unconditional release,” Sekulow said.

Sekulow told WND despite the single statement by the State Department official, the U.S. government is nearly MIA on Abedini’s case.

“The U.S. government has failed to fully engage this case and utilize its tremendous diplomatic influence to pressure Iran to release this U.S. citizen. We’re grateful that the National Security Council has urged Iran to release Pastor Saeed immediately,” Sekulow said.

Sekulow explained Iran is accusing the pastor of trying to undermine the government through leading a collective gathering of fellow believers in house churches.

The charge stems from activities 13 years ago, he said.

“American Pastor Saeed is on trial in Iran because of his Christian faith. It’s that simple,” Sekulow said.

WND reported earlier this month that Abedini was being beaten and threatened daily.

Abedini was sent to Evin Prison shortly after his return to Iran to continue his work with Iranian orphans. The Revolutionary Guard found out about Abedini’s arrival and met him at a bus stop.


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