By Michael Ireland, Senior Reporter, ASSIST News Service email@example.com
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS, June 4, 2015) -– Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American Pastor Saeed Abedini, earlier this week joined family members of the three other Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran in urging members of Congress to do all that they can to bring their loved ones home.
“I am here today as single mother who is trying to be strong for her children, and as a wife who humbly admits, I need your help,” Naghmeh Abedini pleaded in written testimony submitted to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) http://aclj.org which represents Naghmeh and her two young children.
The ACLJ continues to work in this country and abroad to secure the safety and freedom of Pastor Saeed, a U.S. citizen who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly three years merely because of his Christian faith.
In her testimony, Naghmeh said: “I cannot bear to look at my children’s longing eyes one more time and explain to them why their daddy is still not home. I cannot bear to see their hopes crushed again. I cannot imagine my husband spending yet another day in an Iranian prison. I need your help. I cannot do this on my own….Today, I ask you to stand with him as he stands for his faith in Jesus. This is the time that Saeed needs his country the most. Please do not abandon him.”
Naghmeh provided detailed testimony describing the conditions facing her husband who has been imprisoned for nearly 1,000 days.
“The Iranian government has repeatedly told Saeed he holds the key to his freedom – but this key would be to deny his faith and return to Islam. Yet, Saeed has refused to deny his faith in Jesus Christ in the face of torture and abuse,” Naghmeh told Congress.
“Saeed has been moved from prison to prison (Evin to Rajaei Shahr prison). He had been put in a murderers’ ward where he was told that if other prisoners found out that he was a convert from Islam to Christianity, they would kill him. Saeed has been in and out of solitary confinement 3 times now (the last time was April of this year) and told that he would never be set free unless he returns to Islam,” she said.
Naghmeh added that doctors have confirmed Saeed needs two surgeries. “But my biggest concern right now is not Saeed’s physical health, but rather his psychological health. I often think about the condition that Saeed will be in when he is released and how our family would have to cope with that—what father will return to my precious children? Time is of the essence in getting Saeed out of the Iranian prison before it is too late.”
The ACLJ is continuing its global campaign to free Pastor Saeed and said this week’s hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs comes at a critical time as an end-of-the-month deadline for reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran looms – a deadline that many fear could produce an agreement without securing the release of the captive Americans.
“It is difficult to imagine what the Abedini family has been through,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “Naghmeh remains determined, as we do, to bring her husband home. That means keeping Pastor Saeed – and the other captive Americans – in the media spotlight. And that also means applying continuing pressure on the White House and members of Congress to do everything in their power to bring these Americans home.”
In addition to this week’s testimony, the Committee approved House Resolution 233 which calls on Iran to immediately release the Americans. The resolution is similar to a Senate resolution that passed unanimously last month in the midst of ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.
The ACLJ is led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Photo captions: 1) Logo for the freeing of Saeed Abedini. 2) Michael Ireland.
About the writer: Michael Ireland is a Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as a volunteer Internet Journalist and Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and ASSIST News Service since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Click http://paper.li/Michael_ASSIST/1410485204 to see a daily digest of Michael’s stories for ANS.
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