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Senators urge president to intervene on behalf of US pastor imprisoned in Iran

Catholic World News - November 14, 2013

A group of 23 United States senators has asked President Barack Obama to intervene on behalf of Saeed Abedini, a US citizen who was born in Iran and was sentenced in January to eight years in an Iranian prison for engaging in evangelization.

Abedini, a convert from Islam, is a Protestant pastor who was involved in the Iranian house-church movement. He returned to Iran frequently to visit his parents and was arrested upon entry to Iran in August 2012.

“All those who have followed Pastor Saeed's case commend you for raising the issue with President Hasan Rouhani during your telephone call on September 27, 2013,” the senators said in their letter to President Obama. “We believe this new action by the Iranian regime merits additional response. It is imperative for the United States government to speak out boldly on behalf of Pastor Saeed.”

Abedini, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, has been transferred from Evin Prison, where he suffered regular beatings, to Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison, where the most violent prisoners are held.

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