Saeed Abedini’s horrific plight continues as the detained American citizen was reportedly refused medical treatment at an Iranian hospital this week before being forcibly shackled and sent back to the infamous Rajai Shahr Prison.
The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal firm that has helped Abedini’s family navigate the harrowing ordeal since the pastor’s arrest in 2012, released an update Wednesday, claiming that Abedini is being deprived of a much-needed surgical procedure.
Abedini, a Christian pastor here in America, has experienced ongoing pain in his stomach area — an ailment and undefined injury that the group says resulted from repeated prison beatings at the hands of Iranian officials.
Initially, Abedini was offered medical tests, nourishment and care when he was taken to the hospital a little over a week ago, but rather than move forward with surgery to correct the issue, he was abruptly handcuffed and sent back to prison after spending just a few days with doctors.
“This morning Iranian guards lashed out violently against Pastor Saeed and an elderly relative who had been able to visit him in the hospital,” according to the American Center for Law and Justice. “Pastor Saeed was pinned down and shackled. His elderly relative was roughly handled and expelled from the hospital.”
The legal group claims that Abedini was even denied his test results, outlining the theory that the move to the hospital was one intended to coincide with a visit from Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union, to the Middle Eastern nation — an effort to make the nation look benevolent while Ashton was there.
When Ashton left Iran, Abedini was sent back to Rajai Shahr Prison, according to the American Center for Law and Justice. As a result, the group is urging the international community to continue putting pressure on Iranian officials in an effort to urge clemency for Abedini.
During President Barack Obama’s National Prayer Breakfast address last month, he pledged during the speech to do everything in his power to secure the Abedini’s release. Obama plainly proclaimed, “Today, we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini.”
Naghmeh Abedini, the detained pastor’s wife, had previously criticized Obama’s silence during the first 18 months of her husband’s detention, saying of the president that he showed that “in his heart … he doesn’t care.”
She has been a vocal critic of the U.S. government’s response.
“I had hoped that my government would have [responded] sooner and [that I would have] felt more supported and felt reassured — and that this was a very important issue,” Naghmeh Abedini told TheBlaze last month.
TheBlaze has highlighted the pastor’s plight over the past year and a half, including barbaric treatment and horrific abuse he has reportedly endured in prison as a result of his Christian faith.
He was first arrested in 2012 on charges stemming from meetings he had with other Christians inside private homes — an act that is not illegal in Iran.
Featured image via ACLJ