The American Center for Law and Justice declares: “Pastor Andrew is innocent. This isn’t a real trial – it’s a show trial. He’s being held as a political prisoner because of his Christian faith.”
Erdogan seems unconcerned that this persecution of Pastor Andrew could have a negative impact on Turkey’s status in NATO or its alliance with the United States.
“Turkey Postpones Hearing to July 18, Sends Pastor Andrew Brunson Back to Prison,” U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, May 7, 2018:
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was deeply disappointed today by a Turkish court decision to once again postpone proceedings in the case of Pastor Andrew Brunson, an American citizen and leader of a small Protestant Christian church who is facing up to 35 years imprisonment on false terrorism and espionage related charges. Vice Chair Sandra Jolley attended today’s hearing in Aliaga and witnessed the nearly eleven hours of proceedings. USCIRF has condemned the charges against Pastor Brunson and called for his immediate release.
“We leave the courthouse with serious concerns. Today’s eleven hours of proceedings were dominated by wild conspiracies, tortured logic, and secret witnesses, but no real evidence to speak of. Upon these rests a man’s life,” said Vice Chair Jolley. “Worse still, the judge’s decision at the conclusion of today’s hearing to dismiss all of the witnesses called by Pastor Brunson’s defense without listening to a single minute of their testimony is simply unconscionable.”
Pastor Brunson was initially detained by Turkish officials on October 7, 2016 and accused of membership in an armed terrorist organization. On March 13, Turkish prosecutors indicted Pastor Brunson on terrorism and espionage related charges, seeking a sentence of up to 35 years’ imprisonment. His first hearing took place on April 16. Pastor Brunson has lived and worked in Turkey for over 22 years….