American Pastor Saeed Abedini, wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for more than a year because of his Christian faith, has been moved from the murderer ward to the political prisoner ward in Rajai Shahr Prison.
According to a story by Jordan Sekulow for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), while Abedini is still in the deadliest prison in Iran, this is a slight positive step since his transfer from Evin Prison last November.
For the first time in six weeks, Abedini's Iranian family was able to visit with him in his new prison ward. No reason was given for the move, and his family reported that this new ward does mean that Abedini is now receiving better meals.
However, the ACLJ reported his family said that Abedini's medical problems are worsening. He continues throwing up on a regular basis, and is still experiencing significant pain in his abdomen.
Since being moved within the prison, Abedini was able to see a prison doctor who was very concerned about his internal injuries. The prison doctor recommended that he receive surgery and provided him medication to ease his pain.
The ACLJ said Abedini got internal injuries from beatings he endured in Evin Prison early in his imprisonment. Those injuries have gone largely untreated, and when he was transferred to Rajai Shahr, Iranian authorities refused to give him the medication he had been prescribed.
Though Abedini was recently provided pain medication, he has still been denied the medication that was previously prescribed for his internal injuries.
Since recently meeting with the prison doctor in Rajai Shahr, Abedini has still not yet received the needed surgery. His family has formally petitioned the Iranian government to allow him to receive this critically necessary procedure at a private hospital.
Despite Abedini's internal move in prison, the ACLJ reported he still faces serious danger, significant medical issues, and life-threatening prison conditions.
Abedini's wife Naghmeh said in the story, "There is a glimmer of comfort to know that my husband has been transferred out of the murderers' ward, but my heart aches to know the pain he continually suffers and that his injuries necessitate surgery. As a family, it is difficult to be so far away and una ble to comfort him in his pain."
She added, "Though we are encouraged by the transfer to the new ward, such a small step is far from an unconditional release where Saeed is reunited with our family. While this development is welcomed, we desperately await his return home."
Even in this new prison ward, numerous prisoners are complaining that prison conditions are making them sick.
The ACLJ reported that since Saeed's move, the regime has canceled or closed many of the recreational facilities, even the library, that had been available to political prisoners. The authorities have placed two violent prisoners in the political prisoner ward who consistently threaten peace. These violent prisoners have already robbed several of the inmates in the political prisoner ward.
The Iranian regime continues to wrongfully imprison Abedini - a U.S. citizen - for his Christian faith in the deadliest prison in Iran.
The ACLJ commented, "Until Pastor Saeed is free to return to his wife and two young children in th e U.S., we must never give up. We must continue to pressure Iran for his freedom. We continue working with world leaders and urging the U.S. government to make Pastor Saeed's freedom a priority. Please continue to pray for Pastor Saeed's release and share his story. He must never be forgotten."
To sign a petition demanding a vote in the U.S. Senate to sanction Iran, visit www.BeHeardProject.com