Boise Woman Continues Fight To Free Husband From Iranian Prison With Nationwide Vigils

Sep 22, 2014

Credit Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman

Naghmeh Abedini says she misses her husband and fears for his safety. It’s been two years since Boise pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to an Iranian prison, accused of undermining state security by trying to establish a network of Christian churches in private homes.

His supporters will hold a prayer vigil for Saeed Friday.

Naghmeh says she gets updates on her husband every Wednesday when his family in Iran gets to visit Abedini for 20 minutes. She says his health is not well, and still suffers from internal injuries.

“He was interrogated by Revolutionary Guards and that’s when the beatings happened,” says Naghmeh, “and a lot of his internal injuries and issues happened the first few months that he was in prison.”

But she says his spirit remains strong. Naghmeh says she has tried to remain positive too, but it hasn’t been easy. She’s traveled around the country to raise awareness of her husband’s plight and that means she’s had to leave her two young children in Boise.

“As any mom would understand, I do not like leaving my kids,” she explains. “I’ve been on a lonely journey in airplanes and hotel rooms, traveling where I can for my husband’s freedom and my kids have had to be without a mom or a dad. To say the least, it’s been draining, it’s been hard.”

She says the separation has been tough on her children. “My daughter just celebrated her 8th birthday, which is her third birthday without my husband, and last time they were together she was 5. So it’s quite a number of years for a little kid, and it’s been very emotional for all of us.”

Naghmeh says she feels she’s exhausted all her options with the Iranian government because there are no more appeals left. She feels Abedini has been put on the back burner by the U.S. government because of nuclear talks with Iran.

This week, supporters of Saeed will hold 460 prayer vigils in more than 30 countries. Nagmeh plans to hold the first vigil in front of the White House on Thursday night, the rest of the vigils will be held on Friday. Boise’s vigil is set for 6 p.m. in front of the Idaho Statehouse.

“I’m hoping that as we gather in front of state capitol buildings and city halls around the world, that especially our government realizes that this is an important issue for the American people and someone needs to make that call to bring Saeed home,” Naghmeh says.

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