Boise Pastor Faces Eight Years In Iranian Prison

Jan 29, 2013

Supporters of a Boise pastor who's been sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison say he may not survive his punishment. Saeed Abedini was convicted Sunday of attempting to undermine state security.

The non-profit American Center for Law and Justice represents Abedini’s wife and children and has been monitoring the case in Iran. Tiffany Barrans is the International Legal Director with the Center. She says Abedini will spend his sentence in Evin Prison.

barrans: “Evin prison is considered one of the most notorious prisons in all of Iran, but I think it’s notoriety unfortunately goes outside of Iran because of its brutal nature, so it’s quite a brutal prison and eight years, for many in this type of prison, could be a death sentence.”

Barrans says beatings are so common at the prison that a nurse hands out pain medication each night to prisoners. But the nurse has refused to help Abedini, because he is a Christian and therefore considered “unclean.”

Barrans says Abedini has twenty days to appeal his sentence. But Barrans says it’s unlikely he could win an appeal from the court she says didn’t give him a fair trial in the first place. The Iranian Revolutionary Court says his crime was creating a network of Christian churches in private homes several years ago.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio