Saeed Abedini 'shaken' by execution of fellow prisoners

Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini has been imprisoned in Iran for two and a half years.Saeed Abedini/Facebook

American Pastor Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran, has been shaken this week by the execution of six of his fellow prisoners, his wife said.

Saeed, who has been in prison for his faith for two and a half years, was allowed a short visit from his family this week. On the same day, six other prisoners were hanged.

Following the visit, his wife Naghmeh Abedini wrote in an update: "Saeed was quite shaken as he had to witness six fellow prisoners being beaten and taken to be executed (hanged) that day.

"It was a hard and dark day having witnessed that and seeing life being taken. The prison visit was also very hard as the families of those who were executed were crying and wailing," she said.

She added that it was an emotional visit, as their son Jacob will soon be seven years old. Saeed has not seen him since he was four.

Earlier this year Naghmeh and her two children had a short meeting with President Obama, in which Jacob asked if the President could get his father home in time for his birthday. Saeed later thanked the President for saying that he would try.

In her latest update, Naghmeh also thanked their supporters. "Thank you all for praying," she wrote. "Please continue to pray for Saeed to have the strength to endure in that harsh prison and that Jesus would continue to meet him there and give him hope. Please pray that this will be the year that Saeed is released."

Naghmeh, together with the American Centre for Legal Justice, which represents Saeed, met the US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, David Sapertsein last week.

They discussed their continuing concerns for the pastor's health, as he has been routinely denied access to necessary medical treatment and is suffering from internal injuries from regular beatings.

When Naghmeh met with President Obama, he assured her that securing her husband's release was a "top priority" for the Administration.

Saeed is serving an eight-year prison sentence for "threatening the security of the state". You can sign a petition for his release on the Be Heard Project website.