An American pastor imprisoned in Iran has been behind bars for
275 days now, and now access to his family is being threatened.
Saeed Abedini, now a U.S. citizen, was jailed late last year
when he returned to Iran for a visit and was sentenced to eight
years in prison. (
See earlier story)
"The prison guards have threatened to transfer him out of Evin
Prison into a much more remote prison in Southern Iran," reports
Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law & Justice.
Abedini's health has
improved somewhat and he is getting along well with the prison
population, mostly Muslim, but prison workers are threatening to
block contact with family, Sekulow tells OneNewsNow.
Transfer to a second prison "would effectively cut off his
ability to have those weekly visitations and cut off access," the
Sekulow sees that as a veiled threat to dampen his spirits.
Meanwhile, Iranian president-elect Hassan Rouhani has been
described as a "moderate," but Sekulow points out that Rouhani
still takes his orders from religious leaders.
"The president is not the top official in Iran," Sekulow
explains. "When it comes down to religious crimes - religious
courts - that that is not within the president's authority."
ACLJ is continuing to try to stir up international pressure to
obtain Abedini's freedom.
Meanwhile, the ACLU spokesman says the 50,000-plus letters
people wrote to the Iranian government on Abedini's behalf are
being delivered to the prison at a rate of 1,000 per week until he