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ACLJ Presents At United Nations

Written By : Ronn Torossian
March 11, 2013

This week, a team from the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), the ACLJ’s international affiliate, presented Pastor Saeed Abedini’s case before the U.N. Human Rights Council. This meeting presented a critical opportunity to elevate Pastor Saeed’s case in the international arena on behalf of this imprisoned pastor, a U.S. citizen.Dr. Grégor Puppinck, Director General of ECLJ, presented Pastor Saeed’s case in Geneva, Switzerland on Monday, March 5th. He stated, “the ECLJ would like to bring to your attention again the situation of Saeed Abedini who is currently jailed in Iran because of his religion.”

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He explained before the U.N. Human Rights Council that “Saeed’s imprisonment is a clear violation of the rule of law and of his fundamental right to exercise his religion of choice ‘in community with others and in public or private’ ‘in worship, observance, practice and teaching’, as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR.”

ACLJ concluded: Saeed has been repeatedly beaten, denied access to medical care, subjected to intense interrogations, and threatened with death all because he peacefully exercised his Christian faith. These violations must be addressed so freedom of religion and belief, including the intertwining rights of religious expression and peaceful assembly, are reinforced as a cornerstone upon which peace may be established. The ECLJ recommends that the HRC condemn every practice that prevents individuals from freely choosing and practicing their religion, and request that Saeed be released immediately!

It is absolutely imperative to stand up for the most basic of human rights. The 32-year-old Pastor Saeed is in jail today because of his religious beliefs – because of his Christian faith. He is being tortured and beaten and unable to talk with his wife and two young children who live in the U.S. We must all speak out. We appreciate the State Department’s willingness to call for the release of this U.S. citizen facing innumerable human rights abuses in Iran, and we have urged the State Department and Secretary of State Kerry to directly engage this matter at the United Nations and with countries around the world.

If you have not already done so, please sign the petition to #SaveSaeed and share it through SaveSaeed.org.

Saeed’s imprisonment is a clear violation of the rule of law and of his fundamental right to exercise his religion of choice “in community with others and in public or private” “in worship, observance, practice and teaching”, as guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR. Saeed’s peaceful, private religious gatherings are not a threat to national security, and moreover, General Comment 22 prohibits restricting religious freedom on the basis of national security. Saeed has been repeatedly beaten, denied access to medical care, subjected to intense interrogations, and threatened with death all because he peacefully exercised his Christian faith.

These violations must be addressed so freedom of religion and belief, including the intertwining rights of religious expression and peaceful assembly, are reinforced as a cornerstone upon which peace may be established. The ACLJ recommends that the HRC condemn every practice that prevents individuals from freely choosing and practicing their religion, and request that Saeed be released immediately!

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