Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saeed Abedini's Attorney Speaks About the Uncertainty of His Client's Situation

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

IRAN (ANS) -- Imprisoned Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini's attorney is speaking out against what he calls the uncertain situation of his client and calling on Iranian judicial authorities to clear things up.
Saeed and Naghmeh Abedini

According to a story by Mohabat News, Abedini was arrested during a trip to Iran to visit his family and continued efforts to establish an orphanage in Iran.

Abedini was later sentenced to eight years in prison in branch 26 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court chaired by Judge Pir-Abassi. His attorney filed an appeal, and the case was transferred to branch 36 of the appeal courts in Tehran.

However, Mohabat News said there's been no progress on that front and he has not been granted bail. That despite Iranian judicial authorities promising Abedini's family several times they would release him on bail.

Abedini's trial was held behind closed doors on Jan. 22 of this year.

Meanwhile, Abedini's wife Naghmeh believes the delay in the appeals court is a good sign regarding her husband's case.

Naser Sarbazi, Saeed Abedini's attorney, also said he is hopeful that the Iranian authorities will soon clear up the situation in an appeals court.
Sarbazi said, "The courts should handle cases of those who are in pr ison out of turn, but no decision has been made in this regard."

Mohabat News said Naghmeh expressed hope that the appeals court will make a fair review of the case, and release her husband soon.

After Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison, Victoria Nuland, then spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, and Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, expressed the U.S. government's deep concerns over Abedini and promised to make every effort to secure his freedom. They also called on Iran to honor Abedini's human rights and release him from prison.

Mohabat News said Abedini is suffering from a scar on his abdomen which needed medical care. According to reports, he was transferred to a private hospital on July 20. After being examined in hospital, doctors said he needed continuous medical care to treat the scars caused by beatings.

Abedini, who spent his 34th birthday in prison, was arrested for establishing house churches and therefore "disrupting Iranian national security.." He has been held in w ard 350 of Evin prison since Sept. 26 2012.

In the past few years, human rights advocacy groups and western governments have expressed ongoing concerns over the violation of religious minorities' rights in Iran.

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