State Dept. AWOL at congressional hearing on jailed pastor

Jay Sekulow
Jay Sekulow: “I think the State Department’s refusal to appear before this committee today is extremely troubling and frank;y offensive.”
A hearing was held Friday before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on the fate of jailed American pastor Saeed Abedini, and guess who didn’t show up? The State Department.

Naghmeh Abedini, the pastor’s wife, appeared on “America’s Newsroom” along with Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of American Center for Law and Justice and spoke to co-anchor Martha MacCallum.

Before the interview, MacCallum ran a short clip from Friday’s hearing in which an Abedini lawyer accused the U.S. State Department of being “AWOL.”

“I think the State Department’s refusal to appear before this committee today is extremely troubling and frank;y offensive,” said attorney Jay Sekulow. “The failure to appear today and testify is frankly inexcusable.”

Perhaps the State Department’s absence should have come as no surprise. Sekulow advised the committee members that it had shown little cooperation in the past.

“We’ve had some dialogue with the State Department over the last several months and I want to be honest, Mr. Chairman, it has not been pleasant. The lack of concern, the lack of engagement has been problematic in our work to free Pastor Saeed Abedini.”

Sekulow then stated the most troubling aspect of the State Department’s disengagement in the Abedini affair. “ Saeed Abedini is an American citizen — he is us,” he said. “And our State Department is not here for him.”

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