January 29, 2013, Washington, D.C. – On January 28, 2013, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-10th/VA) spoke out against the recent sentencing of an Iranian American pastor in Iran and repeated his call to provide for the establishment of a Special Envoy at the State Department to promote religious freedom in the Near East and South Central Asia.
Pastor Saeed Abedini, a 32-year-old Iranian American who lives with his wife and two young children in the U.S., has been imprisoned in Iran since September 2012. According to media reports, he was sentenced on Sunday to eight years in prison for threatening Iran’s national security through his leadership in Christian house churches.
“The news out of Iran of the ‘trial’ and conviction of Iranian-born American pastor Saeed Abedini is deeply troubling,” said Wolf in a press release issued by his office. “His sentence to serve 8 years in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison is a travesty of justice…President Obama should personally speak out and press for Pastor Abedini’s immediate and unconditional release.”
Congressman Frank Wolf is the co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan organization made up of more than 200 members of Congress who work together to raise awareness about international human rights issues. Earlier this month, he reintroduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 301) calling for the creation of a Special Envoy at the State Department charged with advocating for religious minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia.
Click here to read Congressman Frank Wolf’s press release.
Click here to view PAAIA’s statement on the detention of Pastor Saeed Abedini.