A Turkish court rejected American pastor Andrew Brunson’s appeal to be released from house arrest while awaiting his October trial, Reuters reports. Brunson is currently being held on terrorism charges after living in Turkey for nearly 20 years. Charges include “Christianization” and allegedly being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen. Brunson was recently moved from prison to house arrest after 21 months due to health concerns. “We are going to request his house arrest be lifted every month,” lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt said. Vice President Mike Pence and President Trump recently threatened sanctions against Turkey if Brunson was not released immediately, after a deal to get Brunson released fell apart. “We won’t comment on potential sanctions targets or processes. In the meanwhile, diplomacy will continue,” National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis told Reuters after the appeal decision.
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