Washington 4/26/2013 1:13:42 PM
News / Religion

ACLJ & Wife Of American Pastor Imprisoned In Iran To Testify Before Congress

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which defends human rights and religious freedom, will testify Friday before a Congressional committee examining religious persecution and focusing on the plight of American Pastor Saeed Abedini , a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.

ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow , ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow , and Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, will testify March 15th before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House - a bi-partisan commission which is co-chaired by Representatives James McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA). The commission exists to "to promote, defend and advocate internationally recognized human rights norms in a nonpartisan manner, both within and outside of Congress, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other relevant human rights instruments."

"We have seen tremendous support from more than 100 members of Congress who understand the growing problem of religious persecution and have called for the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini ," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "This hearing represents a significant opportunity to elevate Pastor Saeed's plight and to encourage our State Department and White House to engage this case at the highest levels. For a U.S. citizen to be facing years in one of Iran's most deadly prisons - beaten and abused daily - simply because of his Christian faith – is unconscionable. We're grateful for the opportunity to present Pastor Saeed's case and stand up for the human rights and religious freedom of those who are facing similar situations because of their faith."

The ACLJ, which represents Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh and their two children who reside in the U.S., has launched a global effort - including presenting testimony before the U.N. Human Rights Council - in an effort secure his freedom. Nearly 450,000 people already have signed on to our petition demanding his release.

The hearing on Friday, March 15, 2013, is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and is open to the public and the news media. Additional details about the hearing can be found here.

Led by ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has affiliated offices in Israel, Russia, Kenya, France, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.

SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice