Turkey (MNN) — Tomorrow marks exactly one year since U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson was imprisoned in Turkey. It has been a tumultuous year for Brunson and those fighting for his freedom.
Brunson was initially charged with “membership in an armed terrorist organization.” However, when Brunson’s lawyers tried to discover what evidence these charges were based on, they got nothing.
Then in August, Brunson was slapped with a new set of charges that included “gathering state secrets for espionage, attempting to overthrow the Turkish parliament and government, and to change the constitutional order,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Tat Stewart, a pastor who was on the mission board that sent Brunson to Turkey, says, “My understanding is that in Turkey if you charge somebody, you have to have a trial within a year. You can’t just keep them in prison indefinitely. So as the anniversary rolled around, which they would’ve had to have a trial…they upped the charges to treason, which is a very serious charge for any country to be charged with treason. So I think they mainly did that to buy them more time.” Full Story