UN Human Rights Council hears from Pastor Saeed’s Wife



The wife of the American Christian Pastor, Saeed Abedini, jailed and tortured in Iran for his faith, pled her case before the UN Human Rights Council Monday.


Naghmeh Abedini joined Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice to urge the panel to defend the persecuted church, specifically asking the member states to take more action on her husband’s behalf.


Pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on account of his Christian faith. He has been abused physically and suffers from internal bleeding. The prison leaders have refused to allow him to be treated for his injuries.


According to the Christian Post, in a letter written from prison in March, Pastor Saeed said, “My hair was shaven, under my eyes were swollen three times what they should have been, my face was swollen, and my beard had grown. The nurse would also come to take care of us and provide us with treatment, but she said in front of others ‘in our religion we are not supposed to touch you, you are unclean. Baha’i (religion) and Christians are unclean!’ She did not treat me and that night I could not sleep from the intense pain I had.”


On Friday, Sekulow told the Council that Naghmeh “represents the face of how Iran’s persecution of Christians truly has a worldwide impact.” On the ACLJ’s website he wrote “I implored the nations represented on the Human Rights Council to stand up for the most basic of human rights – the right to peaceably assemble in exercise of one’s religious beliefs – and urge Iran to release Pastor Saeed Abedini.”


Iran’s failure to apply the strict test of necessity and proportionality when reviewing whether to impose a restriction on an assembly, has resulted in a “severe violation of his (Saeed’s) basic right to peaceful assembly and religious freedom,” Sekulow said. “This violation must be addressed in order that the intersection between rights of religious expression and peaceful assembly may be reinforced as a cornerstone upon which peace may be established.”


Despite a call by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in March for Saeed’s “immediate” release, Naghmeh has said she’s been “disappointed that this great country is not doing more to free my husband – a U.S. Citizen.” She said she expected more from her government.


More than 600,000 people around the world have signed a petition for Saeed’s release.