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Aderholt Condemns Conviction of American Pastor Abedini and Calls for his Immediate Release and Return to the United States

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Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) today condemned Iran's conviction of American Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini. Pastor Abedini was wrongfully accused and now has been convicted of undermining national security and sentenced to eight years in Iran's notorious Evin prison.

"Pastor Abedini's arrest, trial and now conviction for his Christian and humanitarian efforts in Iran are completely unjust and are another sad example of Iran's blatant disregard for religious freedom, the rule of law and its international commitments," said Aderholt. "Pastor Abedini is an American citizen, who has done nothing but try to bring good to Iran, through his humanitarian efforts including founding an orphanage, and practicing the faith in which he believes. He should be released immediately and sent home to the United States to be with his wife and children."

On Sunday, January 27, Iran's Judge Pir-Abassi sentenced Pastor Saeed Abedini to eight years in prison for "threatening the national security of Iran,' because of his activities in the Christian house church movement, beginning in 2000.

Earlier this month, Aderholt and 36 of his colleagues sent a letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton condemning the unlawful detainment of Pastor Abedini's and calling on the State Department to do everything possible to bring him home.

"We will continue to keep pressure on the State Department to make sure that this American Pastor receives the attention he deserves and seek his release," concluded Aderholt.

Aderholt currently serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture for the powerful House Appropriations Committee, is a member of the Committee's Commerce, Justice and Science; and Homeland Security Subcommittees, and also serves on the Helsinki Commission.

For more information about Aderholt's work in Congress visit www.aderholt.house.gov.


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