Nearly two years ago, American Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested and thrown into one of the worst prisons in Iran for his Christian faith and witness. He has endured repeated threats and beatings from both Iranian prison officials and fellow prisoners. Recent reports say that his situation is more dire than ever: ISIS militants, who are being held in the same prison, have made plans to murder Abedini because of his Christian faith. Fearing for his life, Abedini says he is remaining in his prison cell as much as possible. Abedini’s two young children in the U.S. recently posted a video asking President Obama to help bring their father home – a plea now made all the more urgent by this new deadly development.
By Gene Kapp
8/13/2014 Iran (Charisma) – Pastor Saeed Abedini is now facing new death threats from ISIS terrorists who are being held in the same Iranian prison where he is being detained, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) reported Wednesday.
Abedini has been able to communicate to family members and let them know that he fears for his life after he was told the ISIS prisoners plan to murder him because of his Christian faith.
“This is an extremely dangerous development that puts Pastor Saeed’s life at grave risk,” says Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, which represents Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and their two children living in the U.S. “Not only is Pastor Saeed facing threats from Iranian militants who have imprisoned him because of his Christian faith, he now faces new and perhaps even more dangerous threats from Iraqi ISIS prisoners who want to murder Pastor Saeed because of his faith.
“ISIS” is an acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and Syria–the two countries where the ruthless offshoot of al-Qaeda have been most active–but the group sometimes is called “Islamic State” for short.
“We call on President Obama and Secretary Kerry to intervene immediately to secure Pastor Saeed’s release and to ensure that he is protected during this transfer to freedom,” continues Sekulow. “Pastor Saeed, who is approaching his second year of imprisonment in Iran, must be returned to his family without delay.”
Abedini, who continues to suffer from injuries sustained at the hands of his captors, revealed to family members this week that Iraqi ISIS members are now being held in Rajai Shahr Prison—in the same prison ward where he is. Other prisoners have told Abedini that—if ISIS prisoners have the opportunity—they intend to murder Abedini because of his Christian faith.
Abedini has told family members that he is currently in a separate section of the ward—removed from the ISIS terrorists—but is concerned that he will be subjected to the general prison population—including the ISIS terrorists—during a brief, daily exercise period in the prison yard. Abedini has said he will not leave his prison cell to go to the prison yard for fear of his safety.
Due to the severe overcrowding and lack of supervision of the prisoners, Abedini communicated that he has had to hide inside his cell and rely on the protection of fellow prisoners when some of these extremists have ventured into his section on their return to the ward from their daily outings.
Sept. 26 will mark two years since the 34-year-old Abedini, a U.S. citizen, was taken into custody, tried and convicted—sentenced to eight years for his Christian faith.
Abedini’s two young children, Jacob and Rebekka, have recorded a personal plea asking President Obama to bring their father home. That video is available here.
The ACLJ continues to work in this country and abroad to secure his safety and freedom. Thousands continue to add their names of support for Pastor Saeed by signing on to this petition for his freedom.