Assist News Service

After spending two months in an Iranian hospital, imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini has been removed from the hospital and taken back to Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to a news release by Jordan Sekulow for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), the transfer came without any advance notice and family members in Iran confirmed that he was severely beaten at the hospital and then forcibly returned to prison.

The reason for the transfer is unclear and according to family members, one of the guards who was involved in the transfer mentioned the Iranian nuclear talks as a possible motive.

"This is an extremely disappointing development - one that breaks my heart," said Naghmeh Abedini, Pastor Saeed's wife.

She added, "Our family is deeply saddened and we continue to pray for Saeed - for his safety and his release. We are very grateful that so many people around the world continue to pray for Saeed."

According to the news release, when Abedini was transferred to the hospital in March, he was initially shackled by guards who lashed out violently against him. He was also denied medical treatment at that time and family members were prohibited from seeing him.

Since then and in the weeks that followed, Abedini"s situation at the hospital improved. Family members were permitted to visit with him frequently and he was provided with nutritional meals.

Abedini, a US citizen, turned 34 on 7th May and his return to prison comes as efforts continue in this country and abroad to secure his release.

The ACLJ represents Naghmeh Abedini and their two children who live in the United States. The ACLJ is headquartered in Washington, DC and focuses on human rights law and constitutional law.

~ www.aclj.org