This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

State Dept. Snubs Congressional Panel As ACLJ & Wife Of American Pastor Imprisoned In Iran Calls For More U.S. Involvement To Free U.S. Citizen

WASHINGTON, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which defends human rights and religious freedom, today testified before a Congressional committee examining religious persecution and called for more U.S. involvement in working to secure the freedom of American Pastor Saeed Abedini – a U.S. citizen – imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.

The testimony from ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow, and Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, came as the U.S. State Department snubbed the Congressional panel – refusing to send anyone to the hearing to testify.

"The State Department was AWOL today – absent without leave," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "The State Department's refusal to testify at this critical hearing is offensive to the family of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen held hostage in one of Iran's most deadly prisons. Instead of appearing before Congress and calling on Iran to release Pastor Saeed, the State Department's no-show reflects a stunning lack of concern for an American wrongly imprisoned simply because of his Christian faith. Many nations – including the European Union – have highlighted Pastor Saeed's case and called for his release before the U.N. Our government did not. With an opportunity to condemn Iran and demand his freedom on a global stage, the U.S. government never mentioned him at all – ignored the plight of a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran. And, today, at this vital hearing, the State Department was AWOL – they did not show up today. Pastor Saeed and his family deserve more from their government."

The hearing occurred this morning 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).

ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow urged the lawmakers to encourage the White House and the State Department to do more to secure Pastor Saeed's release.

"The fact that the State Department refused to send a representative to this hearing underscores the lack of concern and engagement by the Obama Administration in securing the freedom of a U.S. citizen," said Jordan Sekulow. "Naghmeh came all the way from Idaho to give her testimony here today, but the State Department couldn't send one person down the street to speak about Pastor Saeed's case. We believe that there is a great deal more that our White House and State Department can and should do for Pastor Saeed. To date, there has been minimal involvement from the White House press secretary and a State Department spokesperson. Their brief statements have come only as responses to questions asked by reporters. There is no formal written statement from either the White House or the State Department condemning Iran and calling for Pastor Saeed's release. Our President and Secretary of State should lend their voices personally to the growing chorus calling for Pastor Saeed's release. The fact is that we are extremely disappointed with the level of engagement by the Obama Administration."

The ACLJ represents Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children who live in the United States. In her testimony today, Naghmeh revealed the toll this ordeal is taking on her family.

"Saeed is a husband and amazing father," she told the commission. "The kids and I miss him terribly. Our kids hold onto the hope of seeing their daddy very soon. The truth is we do not know if we will ever speak to him or see him again. Every day is a death sentence for him. Many mornings they wake up and start running around the house and in the yard. I ask them what they are doing and they say very disappointed 'it must have been a dream. We saw daddy was home and he was going to twirl us around.' I hold back my tears as I tell them that it was a dream. I still do not have the heart to tell them that if we don't do anything, that daddy might never survive the horrific Evin prison. I do not have the heart to tell them of the 8 year sentence. I do hope we can work together to bring Saeed home and I will never have to tell my kids of the dire situation their father is in."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,010.68 -115.44 -0.64%
S&P 500 2,107.39 -13.40 -0.63%
NASDAQ 5,070.0260 -27.95 -0.55%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs