January 28, 2015, Washington D.C. – Last Wednesday, President Obama met with the wife of imprisoned Iranian American Pastor Saeed Abedini preceding his appearance at Boise State University. During the meeting, President Obama described the release of Abedini as a “top priority” for the United States.
A convert to Christianity, Abedini was visiting family and conducting humanitarian work in Iran at the time of his arrest in September 2012. He is currently serving an eight-year sentence on charges of undermining Iranian national security.
Secretary of State John Kerry has repeatedly called for the immediate release of Abedini, as well as two other Iranian Americans – Amir Hekmati and Jason Rezaian – who are also being detained in Iran. White House press secretary John Earnest confirmed that Secretary Kerry raised the issue of Abedini’s detention in Iran in his recent meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif.
As an organization that represents the interests of Iranian Americans, PAAIA seeks to protect Iranian Americans’ right to immunity from harassment and unlawful detention when traveling outside the United States, including Iran. PAAIA will continue to urge the United States to make the repatriation of Saeed Abedini and all Americans who are unjustly being detained in Iran a priority.
Click here to follow the online campaign to release Saeed Abedini.