clear
Saturday September 5th, 2015 10:16AM

American pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iran

By The Associated Press
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- An American pastor who has been jailed in Iran since September has been sentenced to eight years in prison, the U.S. State Department said Sunday.

Spokesman Darby Holladay said the department is calling on Iran to respect Saeed Abedini's human rights and release him.

Earlier this month, Iran's semi-official news agency, ISNA, quoted Abedini's attorney, Nasser Sarbazi, as saying his client stood trial in the Revolutionary Court on charges of attempting to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes.

The pastor, who is of Iranian origin but lives in Boise, Idaho, has rejected the charges.

"Mr. Abedini's attorney had only one day (Jan. 21) to present his defense, so we remain deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of Mr. Abedini's trial," Holladay said.

Following the court presentation, ISNA quoted Sarbazi as saying the court would issue its verdict later, and that Abedini would be allowed to leave Iran and meet his family in the U.S. after posting bail.

"The promise of his release was a lie," said the pastor's wife, Naghmeh. "With today's development, I am devastated for my husband and my family. We must now pursue every effort, turn every rock, and not stop until Saeed is safely on American soil."

Her comments were provided by the Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice, which focuses on constitutional and human rights law around the world. The center is representing the pastor's family in the United States.

Holladay said the State Department is in close contact with Abedini's family and actively engaged in the case. Abedini and his wife have two children.

"We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion," Holladay said.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
From eggs to Christmas trees, USDA promotional programs sometimes generate controversy
WASHINGTON (AP) — The slogans are familiar: "The Incredible Edible Egg," ''Pork: The Other White Meat," and "Got Milk?"They've all been part of promotional campaigns overseen by the Agriculture Depart...
8:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
DUI courts aim to change behavior of repeat offenders
In courtrooms around the country, judges are teaming up with prosecutors, defense attorneys, parole officers and substance abuse counselors to make long-term changes in the behavior of people with multiple arrests for impaired driving.
8:19AM ( 1 hour ago )
Vast and smoky California wildfire expected to rage into Labor Day weekend, campgrounds closed
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A vast and stubborn wildfire that has proven California's biggest this year was expect to spew smoke through the long Labor Day weekend, leaving some campgrounds empty and prompt...
4:50AM ( 5 hours ago )
Oregon judge refuses to perform same-sex marriages, asks couples to go to other judges
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Marion County Judge Vance Day is being investigated by a judicial fitness commission in part over his refusal to perform same-sex marriages on religious grounds, a spokesman for the...
3:08AM ( 7 hours ago )
Authorities say arson was cause of fire at Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington state
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — A pre-dawn blaze that heavily damaged a Planned Parenthood clinic was arson, fire investigators in Washington state determined Friday.Pullman Fire Department investigator Chris W...
12:06AM ( 10 hours ago )