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Resolution Calling for Release of Pastor Abedini Passes Full Senate

Senators agree that Iran must release Abedini immediately

November 15, 2013

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch praised the unanimous support for passage of his 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 pleased the Senate spoke unanimously in calling for the release of Pastor Abedini and detailing the inhumane treatment he has received,” said Risch. “The government of Iran continues to violate Pastor Abedini’s human rights through his imprisonment and abuse. Pastor Abedini’s only crime is to peacefully exercise his faith and work to help meet the needs of the poor and most vulnerable in Iran.  It is past time for Iran to release Pastor Saeed Abedini.”

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

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

The full text of S Res. 284 can be read online.