Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of an American pastor imprisoned in Iran, testified before a House subcommittee on foreign affairs on Thursday. In an emotional plea before Congress, Abedini described her husband’s worsening plight at the notorious Rajaï Shahr prison in Iran.
“Each day that [Saeed Abedini] remains in that dreadful place could mean a death sentence; any day could be execution day,” she said.
Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) joined Abedini before Congress, arguing that the administration has ignored Abedini’s plight.
“The Obama Administration and the U.S. State Department had a historic opportunity to demand Pastor Saeed’s release, along with that of all wrongly detained Americans in Iran, as a precondition to the nuclear negotiations,” Sekulow said. “As Dr. Katrins Lantos Sweet, Vice Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, testified, this would have been an easy ask. Yet, the Obama Administration intentionally chose not to even ask for his release as a precondition to the negotiations, leaving Pastor Saeed behind – malnourished, in increasing pain, and without medication.”
Abedini described her family’s pain as Saeed remains in prison.
“As Christmas quickly approaches,” she said, “it is just another painful reminder of life without Saeed for our family. When I ask my children what they want for Christmas, their answer is simple. It’s the same thing they wanted for their birthdays this year. It’s the same thing they want every day. They just want Daddy. They want Daddy home. They want Daddy to be able to tuck them into bed, to sing them a song, to hold them in his embrace.”