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Law & Justice

Boise Pastor Imprisoned In Iran Arrested Locally For Domestic Incident

Ada County Sheriff's Office

Boise Police arrested a former local pastor who was held captive in Iran for the better part of three years for violating a no contact order with his estranged wife.

In July of 2012, Saeed Abedini was arrested in Iran. He was taken into custody on charges of evangelizing in the Islamic Republic and sentenced to eight years in prison. The 2012 incident wasn’t Abedini’s first brush with Iranian authorities; in 2009 while visiting family he was stopped at an airport and told to stop proselytizing.

Abedini’s imprisonment drew international attention. His wife, Nagmeh, helped raise awareness of his situation and eventually met with President Obama when he visited Boise in 2015.

The Statesman reports that ahead of her husband’s release from Iranian prison in January of 2016, she accused him of abuse – a claim he denies. Upon his return, Nagmeh filed for legal separation.

Over the weekend, Boise Police arrested Abedini, saying he violated a no-contact order. Barred from physical contact with his wife, Abedini was only allowed to interact with her via email or text. At a court hearing Monday, March 20, an Ada County prosecutor claimed Abedini sent his wife derogatory texts. He pleaded not guilty.

In 2017, Abedini admitted to violating a restraining order taken out by Nagmeh. Before that, he pleaded guilty to a domestic battery incident in July of 2007.

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