On July 27th, I covered the story of American pastor Andre Brunson’s imprisonment in Turkey due to alleged ties to an unsuccessful government coup (see here).
That article also included, it should be noted, a couple fantastic videos of Alabama football. I recommend the article, but I highly recommend the videos.
I also recommend Brunson get the heck out of Turkey, but sometimes, advice is hard to take. Especially when you’re stuck in a third-world country that doesn’t seem too interested in the actions of the United States with regard to one of their citizens.
Last week, both President Trump and Vice President Pence spoke out on the Brunson situation, calling for his release.
The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being. He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2018
VP Pence: "If Turkey does not take immediate action to free Pastor Andrew Brunson and send him home to America, the United States will impose significant sanctions on Turkey until this innocent man of faith is free."
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 26, 2018
Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, responded with, “No one dictates Turkey.”
Now, things seem to have taken a turn for the worse.
A Turkish court has given a big fat “No” to Brunson’s appeal to be freed from his house arrest and allowed to return to the U.S. via a lifted travel ban.
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, courtesy of the AP, a court in Izmir ruled against Brunson due to a continued “strong criminal suspicion” against the North Carolina pastor.
Brunson was taken into custody in 2016, following the failed coup. Specifically, he was charged with links to a U.S. Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gullen — who was blamed for social unrest in the aftermath of the coup — and the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Kristina Arriaga, expressed disdain for the court’s decision:
“The government of Turkey continues to make a mockery of justice in its treatment of Pastor Brunson.”
President Trump had a choice word for the ruling: “disgrace.”
A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. @RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
If Brunson is indeed innocence, that’s a very good word for it.
Thank you for reading! Please visit my initial article on Andrew Brunson here.
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