American Pastor Saeed Abedini Beaten in Iranian Prison; ACLJ Calls for Immediate Release

( [email protected] ) Jun 11, 2015 08:55 PM EDT
Prisoners in Iran attacked American pastor Saeed Abedini last week in an unprovoked manner. Prison guards intervened after he called out for help.
Saeed Abedini's family met with President Obama to discuss the Christian pastor's release from Iran. Photo: Abedini Family/Facebook

Prisoners in Iran attacked American pastor Saeed Abedini last week in an unprovoked manner. Prison guards intervened after he called out for help.

According to Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, Abedini was punched in the face near his left eye and nose. The prisoners also managed to destroy a small table he was using to study and read.

"Pastor Saeed suffered injuries to his face - his eyes beaten black and blue," Sekulow wrote. "He was able to be seen briefly by a prison doctor, and thankfully he did not receive any broken bones."

Sekulow reported that the pastor has undergone previous beatings in the three years he's been in prison from both fellow prisoners and guards.

"He has sustained internal injuries that require surgery. With each beating, his condition worsens," Sekulow wrote.

His wife, Naghmeh, expressed concern that she was "not just worried about his physical pain, but his psychological [pain]."

"It is heartbreaking to me and my family that Saeed was again beaten in prison," Naghmeh said. "Saeed's life is continuously threatened not only because he is an American, but also because he is a convert from Islam to Christianity."

Naghmeh added that "it's time to get Saeed home before it is too late."

According to Sekulow, Abedini is suffering because of his Christian faith.

"Pastor Saeed was able to recount this beating to a family member in Iran who was able to visit him today and see his injuries first-hand," Sekulow wrote.

Sekulow urged fellow Americans "to bring Pastor Saeed and the other Americans wrongfully held in Iran home." He highlighted an important deadline coming up for the negotiations between Iran and the United States.

"It is vitally important that as negotiations face an imposed June 30th deadline between the United States and Iran that our government [makes] every effort - use every tool in its diplomatic arsenal - to bring Pastor Saeed - a U.S. citizen - home to his loving wife and two young children," Sekulow wrote.

Sekulow contended that the pastor's situation becomes more dangerous "with every beating" and "with every demand that he recant his faith in Christ and become Muslim or else be forced to serve even more than his 8-year sentence."

"Time is of the essence," Sekulow wrote. "It is time to bring the Americans home."

A petition calling for Abedini's release has been posted on It has received "overwhelming media attention."

"Secretary of State John Kerry has called for his release, the White House has called for his release, and the House of Representatives held two emotional hearings that highlighted Pastor Saeed's plight," the petition's backstory stated. "Multiple nations have called for Saeed's release, and ACLJ attorneys have argued his case before the United Nations."

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