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ICC Note: Turkish courts have denied the appeal of Andrew Brunson, an American Christian wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey for his faith. Brunson was arrested in October along with his wife, though she was released a short time later. He has been charged with terrorism and conspiring with anti-government forces. He is allowed another appeal to a higher court but his future remains unclear.

01/02/2017 Turkey (Christian Post): A Turkish court has denied the appeal of a Christian pastor from North Carolina, who was imprisoned last month in Turkey on a false terrorism charge because of his Christian faith, according to the American Center for Law and Justice.

Andrew Brunson, a pastor and a U.S. citizen from Black Mountain, North Carolina, who for decades has been serving the Turkish people, was imprisoned on Dec. 9 after being falsely charged with “membership in an armed terrorist organization.”

Last week, the pastor appealed his imprisonment as the charging documents do not present any evidence against him, but it was denied, ACLJ, which is representing the pastor’s family, said in a statement.

“Another appeal to a higher court is allowed, but it is uncertain how that appeal process will go,” the group said.

At least 143,500 people have signed ACLJ’s online petition urging Turkey to release the pastor.

“Although Pastor Andrew has finally been allowed a family visit and some access to his attorney, he is still wrongfully imprisoned and the charge he faces is serious,” ACLJ said, adding, “We are continuing our diplomatic efforts to engage the incoming U.S. administration, and moving forward with an appeal of his case.”

According to International Christian Concern, another watchdog group, Brunson led a Protestant church in Izmir in Turkey. The pastor has been transferred from the Harmandali Detention Center to the Sakran 3 Nolu T Tipi Prison near Izmir.

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