U. S. State Department Fails to Show Up at Imprisoned Pastor's Congressional Hearing

The wife of Iranian-American Pastor Saeed Abedini tearfully testified before a congressional human rights panel Friday regarding the plight of her husband, who is being tortured in an Iranian prison for his faith.

Nagmeh Abedini expressed disappointment that the U.S. government has not done more to secure her husband's freedom.

"I must say I am disappointed in our government, that the president and the State Department have not fully engaged in this situation," she testified before the Human Rights Commission House Committee on Foreign Affairs Friday.

She noted that while "not all Americans are Christians," all Americans wanted to be assured that their government will defend them from being persecuted for their beliefs.

"Saeed is a husband and amazing father," she told the commission. "The kids and I miss him terribly. Our kids hold onto the hope of seeing their daddy very soon."

"The truth is we do not know if we will ever speak to him or see him again," she added. "Every day is a death sentence for him."

The State Department declined to testify at Friday's hearing, something American Center for Law and Justice Chief Counsel Jordan Sekulow called an effort by the Obama administration to "cover its tracks."

"The fact that the State Department refused to send a representative to this hearing underscores the lack of concern and engagement by the Obama Administration in securing the freedom of a U.S. citizen," Sekulow said.

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