I recently traveled to Europe with American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, to collaborate with German non-governmental organization Internationale Gesellschaft für Menschenrechte (IGFM) in meetings with government officials from around Europe. This opportunity was invaluable to raise the plight of Pastor Saeed and the Christian community that suffers in Iran.
Pastor Saeed is currently serving an 8-year sentence in a deadly Iranian prison simply because of his Christian faith. He is abused, tormented, and refused the medical help he needs to heal from the brutal prison beatings he has suffered.
The ACLJ continues to work with Naghmeh to bring attention to her husband’s plight. Her travels and meetings in Germany renewed her strength to continue to do whatever it takes to bring Pastor Saeed home to her and their two young children.
IGFM graciously scheduled and hosted meetings with government officials, media, and churches throughout Germany. At the German Parliament, Naghmeh addressed the Federal Human Rights Committee. She also met with numerous Members of Parliament committed to advocating for religious freedom.
Additionally, Naghmeh had the opportunity to meet with two leaders from the Protestant Committee of the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union – the two leading parties in Germany – after which the groups issued a joint press release calling for Pastor Saeed’s release. Naghmeh also sat down with Volker Kauder, Chair of Christian Democratic Union, who is second in authority under Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Finally, Naghmeh traveled to the German Foreign Ministry where she met with high-ranking officials, including Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, Christoph Strässer. Following the meeting, Dr. Strässer immediately released a public statement in which he stated:
“I call upon Iran to quash Pastor Abedini’s sentence – and the sentences of all those imprisoned merely on account of their religious belief – without delay. Until he is released, I appeal to all those responsible in Iran to grant him urgently needed medical treatments, including outside the prison.
Dealing with prisoners humanely and respectfully is a humanitarian imperative.”
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