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ICC Note: As world leaders meet to discuss human rights issues around the world, the wrongful imprisonment of Christians for their faith is a key issue of concern. Officials specifically raised the case of Pastor Saeed Abedini who remains in an Iranian prison, serving a sentence of eight years for his faith activities. World leaders continue to call for the release of Saeed, an Iranian-born American citizen.
03/17/2014 Iran (ACLJ) – This week, at the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, representatives of the United States and Germany raised American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s case by name. (See video)
The meeting today focused on the report of Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as part of the 31st Meeting 25th Regular Session of Human Rights Council.
Germany’s First Secretary of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Ms. Gudrun Masloch, specifically mentioned Pastor Saeed and noted how he has been withheld critical medical treatment in violation of his human rights.
The U.S. also presented remarks today, directly calling for Pastor Saeed’s release.
Paula Schriefer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 25th Human Rights Council, stated:
Despite Iran’s change of administration, we have witnessed no significant improvement in Iran’s overall human rights situation. While Iran has begun to shift its rhetoric on human rights, the United States remains deeply concerned that Iran continues to suppress free expression and civil society, harass members of its ethnic and religious minority populations, and imprison human rights defenders and journalists for political purposes. . . .
Religious minorities, from non-Shia Muslims to Baha’is, are subject to similar harsh treatment simply for practicing their religious beliefs. We take this opportunity to call once again for the release of dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Saeed Abedini, who is currently being held in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs.

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