Tillis visits Brunson in Turkish prison
by Leigh Jones
Posted 3/29/18, 12:04 pm
Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., revealed Wednesday he met with Pastor Andrew Brunson on Monday in the Turkish prison where the North Carolina native has been detained since October 2016. Although buoyed by his faith, Brunson’s health has deteriorated, Tillis said. Brunson spends 24 hours a day in his cell, with limited human contact, and has lost 50 pounds. He hopes to see a doctor this week, but prison officials demand he be transported in handcuffs with several armed guards, Tillis said. The Turkish government accuses Brunson of “terrorist activities,” claiming he supported the failed 2016 coup. He has lived and ministered in Turkey for about 20 years. “There should be no mistake that Pastor Brunson is the victim of false accusations, and we call upon the Turkish authorities to honestly and transparently review his indictment,” Tillis said, who vowed he would not allow the U.S. government to forget about Brunson’s predicament. “Pastor Brunson is being used as a political pawn by some elements of the Turkish government. These elements seek to undercut the longstanding partnership between the United States and Turkey, in which our two nations have enjoyed close diplomatic, economic, and military ties. It is vital that our nations continue this partnership and continue to work together to pursue our common interests.”
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Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.