Tuesday marked the 300th day of American pastor Saeed Abedini’s illegal imprisonment in Iran—300 days away from his wife and kids, 300 days of torment for his Christian faith, 300 days and counting.
Nearly a year ago, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard raided the home of Pastor Abedini’s parents in Tehran and imprisoned him solely on the basis of his faith. On account of that same faith, he faced a bogus trial and was convicted and sentenced to a lengthy prison term in Iran’s brutal Evin Prison. He has been subjected to beatings and harassment, which have caused internal injuries necessitating medical treatment.
Suffering from an internal injury in his stomach, Abedini has been in need of medical attention for quite some time. On July 20, 2013, he was taken to a private hospital in Tehran for treatment and, for the first time, was examined by a physician and prescribed medication for injuries he sustained from the beatings he endured by prison guards.
On two past occasions, the 33-year-old pastor has been taken to the local hospital only to be sent home without examination or treatment for his injuries. This time, authorities proved they have heard the international outcry for medical attention.
Pastor Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, has responded to this positive step.
"Thank you to all of the individuals who have prayed, written letters, signed petitions, called government officials, run benefit races, tweeted, and shared Saeed’s story. Thank you to all the government officials from around the world who have stood for my husband. Iran has listened to your pleas. While I am encouraged that Saeed is finally getting medical care, the fight is not yet over. It has been a difficult 300 days—300 days of torment simply because Saeed loves Jesus Christ. I am hopeful Iran will do the just and honorable thing and release Saeed," she says.
We are pleased that Iranian authorities have taken this important step to see that Pastor Abedini is no longer denied access to necessary medical treatment. It is our hope that the Iranian regime will take additional steps to correct their wrongdoings by giving his case a fair and impartial review in the court of appeals, where his case is currently pending. A fair and impartial review must result in a decision that continuing to hold Pastor Abedini is a grave violation of Iran’s Constitution and its international obligations.
While Abedini has received medical treatment, he continues to pay a price for his Christian faith daily through his illegal imprisonment. We hope that this recent update out of Tehran indicates that he—a U.S. citizen—will receive just treatment in the coming days and weeks. Most importantly, we hope to see Iranian officials release him so he can return to the United States where he can make a full recovery in his family’s care.
We continue to work in this country and in the international community to secure Pastor Abedini’s freedom. And more than 600,000 people around the world now stand in solidarity with Pastor Abedini at SaveSaeed.org.