The New York Daily News linked to two YouTube videos posted by the family of Saeed Abedin, the Iranian-American pastor who was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran for his efforts to build an orphanage and organize in-home worship services among Iranian Christians. Abedini’s wife released the videos, featuring heartfelt pleas from their six year-old son and seven year-old daughter, in an effort to appeal to President Obama to make a stronger effort to secure Abedini’s release from the Iranian prison where he has now been held for two years.
Another plea for the release of a prisoner came out of the United Arab Emirates this week. Arabian Business reported on Thursday that the offices of The National, the UAE newspaper for which Yageneh Salehi worked as a reporter in Iran, has issued a statement saying that they want her back and cannot understand why she has been imprisoned alongside her husband, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian. Indeed, no one can truly understand why these two journalists have been imprisoned, as the judiciary has still, after two weeks, not issued formal charges or released any information about their cases.
In the meantime, active opponents of the Iranian regime pointed out statistics such as the increasing numbers of executions under the Rouhani presidency. The National Council of Resistance of Iran reported on Friday that at least nine individuals had been executed the previous day, bringing the total to 31 known executions over the course of just five days.
NCRI President Maryam Rajavi renewed calls for the Iranian regime’s human rights record to be referred to the United Nations Security Council, and for international action to be taken to hold the government to account for unjustified executions and other acts of political repression.