UPDATE 2 (TRS): Here’s the interview with ACLU Jay Sekulow on this:
Note that Sekulow says that the pastor isn’t getting any medical attention even though he’s been beaten and tortured.
UPDATE (TRS): Just broadcasting at noon on Sunday on Fox News is that Pastor Saeed Abedini has received a sentence of 8 years in Iran:
FOX NEWS – Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelizing, was sentenced this morning to eight years in prison.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Abedini was verbally sentenced in Tehran by Judge Pir-Abassi, known as the “hanging judge,” to eight years in prison for threatening the national security of Iran through his leadership in Christian house churches. He will serve the time in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, known as one of the most brutal.
The evidence, the ACLJ reports, was based on Abedini’s activities primarily during the early 2000s, when house churches were not considered a threat in Iran.
Jay Sekulow from the ACLJ says that 8 years in Iranian prison is basically a death sentence. He said it’s not like the Western world, but that they are unlikely to release him after 8 years.
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ORIGINAL POST BELOW:
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FOX NEWS– Iranian jailers turned away the family of an American pastor on trial Iran for his Christian family, telling them Saeed Abedini is not in the infamous Tehran prison where he’s been held for several months.
The development was the latest disappointment in a turbulent week for supporters of Abedini, who is accused of undermining national security by establishing a network of home-based churches in his native country. On Monday, at the outset of his trial, state-run media said Abedini had been granted bail, but family members said officials refused to accept the payment or free him.
“The fact that his whereabouts are unknown to his family and attorney is cause for concern,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of American Center for Law and Justice, the organization representing Abedini’s U.S.-based family.
Abedini, 32, an American citizen who lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two children, has been kept in Iran’s Evin Prison since September, following his arrest on a bus. His supporters say he has been beaten and tortured in the prison, and that he was only in Iran to try to start a secular orphanage.
Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh Abedini, has not traveled back to Iran for fear of being arrested herself. But other, Iran-based members of the family who visited the prison were not told where Abedini is now being held, said Sekulow.
“We know that Pastor Saeed has undergone intense pains after beatings in interrogations while in his current prison ward, and a transfer [to a medical ward] would allow him to receive improved medical care.
Abedini’s attorney, Naser Sarbazi, asked the judge on Monday to move Abedini to a facility where he could get medical treatment. Although the judge agreed, neither Abedini’s family nor his legal team was notified of such a move,
Read the rest here.