Saeed Abedini, American pastor held in Iran, in hospital but denied surgery

April 8, 2014

The American pastor serving an eight-year prison term in Iran for alleged crimes related to his Christian faith has been in a Tehran hospital for more than a month, according to family members and his attorneys.

Since mid-March, Pastor Saeed Abedini has been in an Iranian hospital getting treatment for internal injuries suffered at Rajai Shahr Prison, according to his American legal team. While they are pleased he is in a hospital, they said he is not getting needed surgery for his injuries, which they claim came at the hands of his guards and fellow inmates. Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, said there appears to be a struggle within the Iranian government over what to do with Abedini, who is 33 and the married father of two children back home in Boise, Idaho.

“Inside Iran there is a discussion because they know the severity of having an American,” Sekulow said. “But they face a hard-line opposition within their ranks to keep him in prison.”

Sekulow adds that Abedini is currently receiving better care and treatment while in the hospital, including decent food, medicine and monitoring. But family members who have visited him say he is still in severe pain and could be returned to the brutal conditions of prison without notice.

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