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USCIRF Strongly Condemns New Indictment Against Pastor Andrew Brunson, Including Possible Life Sentence

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) strongly condemns a new indictment issued by Turkish prosecutors this week charging Pastor Andrew Brunson with “leadership in a terrorist organization” and seeking a possible life sentence in his case. Pastor Brunson is an American citizen and the leader of a small Protestant Christian church in the city of Izmir, Turkey, where he has served for over 22 years. He was detained on October 7, 2016 and accused by Turkish officials of membership in an armed terrorist organization, though official charges have not yet been released to the public. 

Abdul Shakoor

Country:  Pakistan 

Key Fact: 80-year-old Ahmadi manager of a bookshop and optician store

Detained Since: December 2, 2015

Charges: Propagating the Ahmadiyya faith and stirring up “religious hatred” and “sectarianism”

Sentence: Three years in prison under the Penal Code for blasphemy and five years under the Anti-Terrorism Act on January 2, 2016


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