World Governments Called on to Defend American Pastor Saeed Abidini

Pastor Saeed Abidini, an American imprisoned in Iran for his faith, was sentenced Sunday to eight years in prison.

According to the American Center for Law and Justice, Pastor Saeed was verbally sentenced by Iran's notorious "hanging judge" to eight years. He will serve his time in Evin Prison, known as one of the most brutal.

"This is a real travesty - a mockery of justice," said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the ACLJ, who represents Pastor Saeed's wife and children living in the U.S.

"From the very beginning, Iranian authorities have lied about all aspects of this case, even releasing rumors of his expected release," he continued. "Iran has not only abused its own laws, it has trampled on the fundamentals of human rights."

"We call on the citizens of the world to rise up in protest. We call on governments around the world to stand and defend Pastor Saeed," Sekulow said.

Pastor Saeed and his attorney were permitted to attend just one day of his trial, which began January 21st. They were barred from attending and participating in further proceedings. During his imprisonment, Pastor Saeed has been beaten and tortured raising serious concerns about his medical condition.

Pastor Saeed's conviction and sentence in the Iranian Revolutionary Court had to be approved at the very top - The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had to sign off.

After learning about the courts ruling today Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, released the following statement:

"The promise of his release was a lie," Naghmeh said. "We should not trust the empty words or promises put out by the Iranian government.  These false hopes amount to psychological torture." 

"You don't want to trust them, but they build a glimmer of hope before the crushing blow," she added. 

"With today's development I am devastated for my husband and my family," Naghmeh said. "We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil."

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