Now is the time for U.S. to pressure Iran to free Saeed Abedini says his wife

Video link to speech starts at 20 minute mark:
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of jailed Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini speaking at [UN] human rights conference in Geneva, Switzerland on February 25, 2014.  Photo: Ecumenical News / Peter Kenny

by Peter Kenny, February 25, 2014, Ecumenical News


Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of jailed Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini says she believes now is a good time for the United States to pressure Iran to release her husband.

She spoke at the Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy on Tuesday. The meeting took place in the Swiss city before the United Nations Human Rights Commission begins its March 3 to 28 sitting.

“At present my husband is suffering from internal injuries that resulted from beatings, but the Iranian government is denying him the necessary medical care needed to treat those injuries,” Naghmeh Abedini told the conference on Tuesday.

“Freedom of religion, including the right to change one’s religion, is a God-given right of all people, including the Iranian people. No human law should infringe upon that right.”

Saeed Abedini was born and raised in Iran then move to the United States. In 2000, he “exercised his God-given right” and chose Christianity.

June 2012 was the last time Naghmeh and her children saw Saeed. “Never did Saeed anticipate that when he left for Iran in June 2012, that the Iranian government would break their agreement and arrest him.”

Naghmeh Abedini, told the conference, “I stand before you, not as a lawyer, journalist, or scholar, but as the wife of a husband imprisoned in Iran.

“My husband, Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-born, American pastor, has been beaten, severely abused and sentenced to eight years in Iran’s most deadly prison simply because of his Christian faith.”

In an interview with Ecumenical News Abedini said that before the current talks between the United States and Iran over the nuclear issue in the Islamic State, she was told that because there were no diplomatic relations between the two countries it made diplomatic pressure difficult.

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Video link to Mrs. Abedini’s speech starts at the 19-20 minute mark: