U.S. Confirms Pastor Sentenced To 8 Years In Iran
January 28, 2013
The U.S. State Department has confirmed that Iranian authorities have sentenced an American Christian pastor of Iranian origin to eight years in prison.
Spokesman Darby Holladay said Washington is calling on Iran to respect Saeed Abedini's human rights and release him.
Earlier this month, Abedini reportedly went on trial on charges of attempting to undermine Iranian state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes.
The pastor, who is of Iranian origin but lives in the United States, denies the charges.
The U.S. spokesman said the State Department is in close contact with Abedini's family.
He also called on Iran to uphold the right of freedom of religion.
A rights group, the American Center for Law and Justice, has alleged that Abedini was beaten and tortured during his detention.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2013. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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