It has been almost a month since Iranian authorities promised Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith, that he would receive medical treatment. He has undergone months of beatings and abuse at the hands of his brutal Iranian captors, which has led to dangerous internal bleeding.
Today, we have learned that he has again been refused medical treatment. Our sources in Iran have confirmed that while Abedini was indeed taken to a hospital, he was not admitted for treatment. Allegedly, the specialist he was to see was not available, and rather than having one of the many doctors at the hospital treat his life-threatening internal bleeding, prison officials returned Abedini to Evin Prison without receiving any medical treatment.
The situation surrounding Abedini’s deteriorating health and refused medical treatment is grave. It is further evidence of the horrific human rights abuses he has undergone. We are extremely disappointed that Abedini was literally on the doorstep of the lifesaving medical treatment he so desperately needs only to be again denied care.
While news that the prison authorities took Abedini to a hospital is a positive step, he was ultimately denied necessary medical care. We call on the Iranian authorities to uphold their promise and immediately ensure Abedini is given private medical care to treat his internal bleeding.
We were also informed that Abedini's case has been transferred to Branch 36 of the Revolutionary Appeals Court. As we have told you, an appeal in the Iranian court system reflects an uphill battle with no guarantee or certainty that the court will even truly consider, much less overturn, Abedini’s sentence. With this development comes negative news that court officials again denied him bail.
As we told you last week, we have developed a new global strategy that will give you a unique opportunity to have your voice heard in a powerful way--taking our public advocacy for Abedini a step further.
More than 550,000 individuals from 180 countries around the world have signed the petition to #SaveSaeed. You have spoken out for Saeed. Now you can speak to Abedini.
The ACLJ has obtained the mailing address for Abedini in Evin Prison. We have developed a way for you to write him a letter.
Abedini’s 33rd birthday is May 7th, and we would like to send him encouraging messages from thousands of concerned individual’s around the world. We want Abedini to know that he is not forgotten and thousands upon thousands of people are fighting for his freedom.
It is also an important opportunity to let Iran know that we will not forget about this persecuted pastor. Iranian officials will be reviewing and paying attention to these letters. They will feel the incredible pressure of the world community calling for Abedini’s release.
We have prepared suggested language for you to use, but you can also personalize your letter. It’s simple. You write the letter, and we’ll deliver it.
Now, as we know Iran will be paying attention, it is important that we not say anything that could be harmful to Abedini’s case. Statements against Iran or specific references to outside organizations or churches could be harmful. But please let him know you are thinking about him, that you are praying for him, and that you want to see him released to his family.
Let Abedini know he is not forgotten, and let Iran know the world is watching.