Pastor Andrew Brunson’s daughter Jacqueline Furnari and US Attorney Cece Heil were among the witnesses at the hearing “Prisoners of the Purge” hosted by the Helsinki Commission of the US Congress on November 15, 2017.
Brunson’s Attorney said that Pastor has literally become a “bargaining chip for Turkey” and a “political hostage.”
“It is now 404 days. He has no idea and yet to be charged with any crime,” said the attorney.
“Not a single evidence has been presented supporting the accusations against him” she added.
State of emergency decrees destroyed all protections
Heil stated that “President Erdogan started arresting anyone he deemed a threat, including the Christians.”
She pointed out that all protections stemming from the constitution and international documents have disappeared because of the state of emergency and the decrees.
She also stated that the rapidly diminishing rule of law in Turkey has completely destroyed Pastor’s ability to defend himself properly. “Even his interviews with his lawyer are being recorded,” she complained.
“The case of Brunson has attracted the attention of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. President Trump, Vice President Pence and State Secretary Tillerson requested the release of the Pastor at the highest level,” she added.
In her emotional testimony, Jacqueline Furnari, daughter of Pastor Brunson, said that the accusations against his father are “absurd.”
During the hearing, the elements in relation to the arrest of American citizens, in addition to Pastor Brunson, workers of the US consulates in Turkey, and the breaches of the rule of law were also examined.