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Risch, Crapo Call for Immediate Release of Pastor Saeed Abedini

Iran should release all individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs

November 1, 2013

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo were joined by their Senate colleagues Rand Paul (R-KY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in authoring a resolution calling on the government of Iran to immediately release Pastor Saeed Abedini and all other individuals detained on account of their religious beliefs.

Pastor Saeed Abedini, a pastor and resident of Boise, was seized by the Iranian government and has been sentenced to eight years in prison for allegedly spreading Christianity.  He was in Iran visiting family and working to build orphanages.

“I am, once again, calling for the release of Pastor Abedini,” said Risch. “The government of Iran has repeatedly violated human rights by imprisoning and abusing Pastor Abedini whose only crime is peacefully exercising his faith.  It is past the time for the government of Iran to release Pastor Saeed Abedini.”

“Idahoans have demonstrated their passion for his release based on his strong contribution to extolling human rights and dignities,” Crapo said.  “We agree with concerns for his safety and call for his immediate freedom from captivity.”

Abedini is one of three Americans being held in Iran.  Abedini was placed under house arrest in June, 2012, put in prison in September and sentenced to Evin prison for eight years in January, 2013. His appeal to the Tehran appeals court was denied in August, 2013.

His wife, Naghmeh, and children live in the Boise area.

The full resolution can be read in the attachment below.


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