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Wife of the jailed American pastor and Iran heading to the hill today is the first hearing we will see all of this topic.
The wife of -- need of a Dini would testify in front of -- house hearing she says she hopes the Obama administration will put more pressure.
On Iran to free her husband he's being held for practicing his Christian faith in that country.
Doctor Katrina Lantos -- as the chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom she's set to testify at the hearing today and doctor were honored to have you on today.
And good morning and see what I can delight in what can come from this -- India thing.
You know congressional hearings have the Billy -- -- -- that bright spotlight to put pressure.
I'm not only on the Iranians but also on our own government -- -- -- up the degree of their attention to him why do you think our government has not.
-- Well I think that and while both says the administration in the State Department have spoken now attempt in January about to get past haven't seen these case.
The reality is that too often I'm human rights concerns religious freedom concerns get someone pushed to the side in the press.
They're very urgent business and so it's the job of that brave women like -- -- -- -- -- Really continue to raise -- hue and cry and make sure that this issue can not be pushed to the side.
It and she will be there today and she's been with us many times in our program and she showed a lot of bravery frankly I -- and fighting on behalf of her husband.
But the State Department had a chance to lend his voice to this hearing today and -- passed.
You know I obviously can't speak on behalf of the State Department the US Commission on International Religious Freedom which I chair is it completely independent.
Government and TT but I do think that -- -- missed opportunity.
And dad and I hope that the State Department -- engage.
I -- more forcefully on this issue.
It really does matter it really makes a difference when our government at the highest levels.
Puts an issue like them the case have -- trafficking front and center.
And we've seen that being done by our counterparts in the European -- like I hope that this hearing is just the first step in raising the profile we -- If you don't want the Europeans to be leading your cause that the American should be doing on behalf an American citizen there.
Now he's being held -- more the more notorious prisons the entire country.
He has family in Iran they have visited him from time to time they say suffering from internal bleeding because he's been tortured at the prison.
Now about a month ago we spoke to a woman in Canada.
She's Persian by birth she is spent time in this person in this is how she described the treatment -- have a listen from February.
It is happy days or you dissolved in pain.
I forgot my name I forgot why -- -- In that space there is nothing.
Much pain you read used to something that you don't even know what it is I forgot how to towns I wanted to I couldn't I couldn't think.
You you listen to her story and is so gripping.
And I'm sure you're familiar with the spurs -- -- you're not.
Well Evan prison is notorious as is the judge who sentenced passed out at -- he's known as one of the hanging judges.
It -- a brutal society.
This is one of the most egregious violators of human rights in the world today and particularly.
Religious freedom right.
For the Christian community.
But also for the Baha'i faith for Jews for other religious minorities including -- religious minorities in Iran.
That's why both the State Department in our commission have designated Iran.
-- the worst possible designation as a country of particular concern in our respective annual reports.
This is a place.
That the -- in this late towards their religious minorities and they're activists on behalf of democracy and freedom.
Because they are fundamentally.
Unstable societies and Iran and they're getting away with -- doctor.
Well you know it's our job to make sure they don't get away with -- I think we saw huge uptick in this sort of religious persecution.
Following the contested elections in 2009.
We have other elections coming up now in June.
Iran is a country come.
That flew from getting away with it but internally there is great instability -- and great opposition to this -- -- We will hear -- mad testified today and doctor appreciate your time Katrina Lantos let.
In Washington she testifies as well we'll watch the hearing from here thank you.
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