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Persecution – US pastor Andrew Brunson released in Turkey

November 2018

Andrew Brunson, the American evangelical pastor imprisoned for two years in Turkey and most recently held under house arrest, has been released and allowed to return to the US.

He was accused of terrorist related offences, but he has always denied the allegations, and his supporters have said the evidence against him was spurious at best. He was one of several Americans detained in the aftermath of a failed military coup in 2016 and was charged with aiding terrorist groups and espionage.

Mr Brunson’s lengthy imprisonment and trial raised serious tensions between the United States and Turkey. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence personally raised his case several times with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

In addition, the United States imposed significant financial sanctions on Turkey and members of the US Congress travelled to Turkey to attend Mr Brunson’s trial.