July 10, 2012

The U.S. State Department has once again joined the call for the release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, marking his 1,000th day of illegal imprisonment in Iran for his Christian faith.

In a statement released last night, a spokesperson for the State Department wrote:

We note that July 8 marked 1,000 days Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has spent in an Iranian prison. Pastor Nadarkhani still faces the threat of execution for simply following his faith, and we repeat our call for Iranian authorities to release him immediately.

Unfortunately, Pastor Nadarkhani is not alone in his suffering. The Iranian regime continues to deny and abuse the human rights of its citizens, in particular those of its many ethnic and religious minorities....

We call upon Iranian authorities to respect and protect the freedoms and dignity of all its citizens, and to uphold its own laws and international obligations which guarantee such rights to all Iranians, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.

We welcome the State Department’s continued efforts to secure the release of Pastor Youcef. The State Department has on at least six other occasions officially called for Pastor Youcef’s release.

It is critical that the international community continues to put pressure on Iran for the immediate and unconditional release of Pastor Youcef.

The uncertainty surrounding Pastor Youcef’s new court date, set for September 8th, makes increased efforts from the international community all the more important.

For more than 1,000 days, Pastor Youcef has stood resolute in his face, repeatedly stating, “I cannot” recant when he was given the “choice” to recant or face execution. If you have not already done so, please sign up to Tweet for Youcef and add your followers to the 2.6 million worldwide who are daily hearing Pastor Youcef’s story and taking action.