US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson was moved to house arrest after spending over a year and a half in a Turkish prison on terror and espionage-related charges.

Vice President Mike Pence warned Ankara that if steps were not taken immediately to ensure Brunson’s release, “the United States of America will impose severe economic sanctions on Turkey.”

Speaking at a conference on religious freedom, Pence said the pastor was “an innocent man” and that there was “no credible evidence against him.”

Pence earlier spoke to Brunson by telephone, promising that the “entire” administration would “keep working to secure his full release.”

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that while the US welcomed the “long overdue news” that Brunson had been moved to house arrest, this was “not enough.” Pompeo urged Turkish authorities to “resolve his case immediately in a transparent and fair manner.”

Brunson, 50, had lived and worked in Turkey for over 23 years and was arrested in October 2016 in the aftermath of the July 2016 coup attempt against President Erdogan.

The pastor was accused of being affiliated with the Gulen movement, an organization led by Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish authorities believe masterminded the coup attempt.

The charges against him were later amended to include espionage and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. He has also been accused of working for the PKK, a Turkish-Kurdish militant group, which Ankara classifies as a terrorist organization. Brunson has denied all the charges.

Brunson’s family has urged US authorities to take action to free the pastor. If convicted, he faces up to 35 years in prison. Turkish media reported that Brunson had been moved from prison to house arrest for “health reasons.”

President Trump recently tweeted on a Turkish court’s refusal to free the pastor last week, calling the move “a total disgrace” and urging President Erdogan to “do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father.”

ALSO READ  Turkish Army 'neutralizes' 23 PKK fighters in one week

Ankara had earlier proposed swapping Brunson for Gulen. The Obama and Trump administrations have rejected all Turkish efforts to extradite the Islamic preacher back to his home country.

 

 

Source: Sputnik

Advertisements
Share this article:
  • 44
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    44
    Shares
The International News Desk reports on issues and events world wide.

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Tony B.
Guest
Tony B.

Since both child sacrificer Pense and Pompeo are both anxious to get this guy out of Turkey he is OBVIOUSLY CIA or worse.

Daeshbags Sux
Member
Master
Upvoted
Rookie Mentor
Commenter
Daeshbags Sux

Erdogan’s AKP is obviously a Muslim Brotherhood puppet… No surprise they’re oppressing a Christian pastor, and try to use him as a bargain chip to get Gullen, since Gullen knows too much about Erdogan’s shenanigans.