(Voice of the Persecuted) PRAISE GOD! The House has unanimously passed the resolution urging Iran to release three Americans jailed by Iran and provide information on Robert Levinson who while working for the CIA went missing in 2007. The non-binding resolution, which passed late Monday by a vote of 391-0, urged Tehran to free US reporter Jason Rezaian, Pastor Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati.
Pastor Saeed Abedini was arrested in September 2012 and sentenced in 2013 for leading underground church services and Bible studies. Saeed has been tortured physically and psychologically and pressured to deny his Christian faith. He also suffers from internal bleeding, the outcome of beatings when he was first detained. Recommended by a prison doctor, the Iranian regime refuses to allow him the necessary surgical procedure that he needs.
U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati arrested in 2011 on charges of spying for the CIA in Iran was sentenced to death, but his sentence was later reduced to 10 years. Hekmati maintains he was visiting his grandmother and other relatives in Iran and innocent of the charges. In December 2011, Hekmati appeared on Iranian state television and a confessed to the charges stating that he had infiltrated Iran in order to establish a CIA presence in the country. His family claims he was coerced into making the confession and that he was not a spy.
A US reporter, Jason Rezaian is being held at Evin Prison after he and his wife, also a journalist was arrested on July 22, 2014 for alleged spying. His wife, was later released in October. In April, Rezaian was indicted on four charges, including espionage and “propaganda against the establishment.
As the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal approaches, lawmakers are pushing Iran to free the Americans if it wants the U.S. to sign the deal and relieve sanctions against the Islamic republic.
Please continue to pray for their release. And for the families who are suffering in their absence.