Last Updated: Tuesday, 02 September 2014, 13:52 GMT

U.S. confirms pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iran

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 28 January 2013
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, U.S. confirms pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iran, 28 January 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5122359ea.html [accessed 3 September 2014]
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January 28, 2013

Iranian-American pastor Saeed AbediniIranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini

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

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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