Imprisoned Pastor Chained to Hospital Bed, Wife Says
Imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini was admitted to hospital under humiliating conditions, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned.
Naghmeh Abedini, Abedini’s wife, told the Campaign that the pastor was taken to Dey Hospital in Tehran on March 3, 2014 while his hands and feet were chained and then he was tied to a hospital bed.
But when news of his condition spread, the chains were removed and officials treated him better. Also one of his relatives was allowed to visit with him, his wife added.
“Saeed is in prison only because of his religious beliefs,” she said. “I hope Mr Rouhani will carry out the promises he made a few months ago and as a first step Saeed and all others imprisoned because of their beliefs or religion will be freed.”
Saeed Abedini is an Iranian-American Christian convert who, after converting to Christianity in 2000, left Iran for the US. He traveled to Iran many times since his conversion, lastly in July 2012 “to visit his family and continue his work to build an orphanage,” according to his wife. On January 27, 2013, Branch 26 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court sentenced him to eight years in prison for “intending to disrupt Iranian national security by establishing a network of Christian house churches.” An appeals court upheld the sentence and sent Abedini to Tehran’s Evin Prison. He was abruptly transferred to Rajaee Shahr prison on November 3, 2013, where he has been kept among dangerous criminals.
Abedini suffered internal bleeding during interrogations and has lost consciousness several times in recent months.
“Based on what the doctors are saying Saeed needs to undergo surgery. Initial laboratory tests have been carried out and we hope he is not taken back to prison until his full recovery,” Abedini’s wife said.