Pastor Saeed Abedini, held for nearly three years as a prisoner in Iran, was attacked in his prison cell last week. This was not the first time he was beaten since being locked up.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) first reported Abedini’s attack, which occurred last Wednesday:
Unprovoked, fellow prisoners attacked Pastor Saeed as he attempted to leave his cell, punching him in the face near his left eye and nose. In addition to physically beating the persecuted pastor, prisoners demolished a small table Pastor Saeed used to study and read.
As he was attacked, Pastor Saeed called out for help. Iranian prison guards did intervene and prevent further injury. However, Pastor Saeed suffered injuries to his face – his eyes beaten black and blue. He was able to be seen briefly by a prison doctor, and thankfully he did not receive any broken bones.
This wasn’t the first time he was beaten. Over the course of his nearly three years in prison, he has suffered numerous beatings, including from prison guards. He has sustained internal injuries that require surgery.
With each beating, his condition worsens. Even before this most recent beating, [his wife] Naghmeh testified about the toll it has taken on him, ‘I’m not just worried about his physical pain, but his psychological [pain].’
Speaking to Western Journalism last October, Naghmeh expressed her frustration with the lack of attention given to her husband’s case by the Obama administration. “As an American citizen, I want them to fight for me,” Naghmeh said. “When I heard that they were telling people to back off, I was really frustrated, really heartbroken over it. It really made me question, is my government fighting for me? Is my government fighting for Saeed?”
Naghmeh did express some hope for Saeed after she and her two children met with Obama when he stopped in their hometown of Boise, Idaho, in January. “The president repeated his desire to do all that he can to bring Saeed home,” Naghmeh said. “That means the world to me and my children and has given me a renewed sense of hope.”
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