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US slaps sanctions on Turkey ministers over detained pastor

Published: Updated:

The US Treasury Department on Wednesday hit Turkey's justice and interior ministers with sanctions over the case of an American pastor being tried on terror charges.

“We believe he's a victim of unfair and unjust attention by the government of Turkey,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told journalists, referring to Andrew Brunson, an American pastor at the center of a bitter diplomatic spat between NATO allies.

Brunson, who led a Protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir, was placed under house arrest last week after nearly two years in jail.

“Pastor Brunson’s unjust detention and continued prosecution by Turkish officials is simply unacceptable,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement. “President Trump has made it abundantly clear that the United States expects Turkey to release him immediately.”

(With AFP)