Arrest and intimidation of Christian converts in Iran, a new surge

Arrest and intimidation of Christian converts in Iran, a new surge

Published by on October 25, 2017

The newly married Christian convert, Abdolali Pourmand, was arrested on Thursday, 19 October 2017, by the Iranian intelligence agents in the city of Dezful, south-west Iran. He was later transferred to a prison Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan province.

According to reports, the agents raided his house and found Bibles, pamphlets, and CDs. He was not at home at the time so he was summoned on the phone and asked to go to the headquarters of the Ministry of Intelligence in Dezful. He was then arrested and transferred to Ahvaz.

Pourmand, a member of the “Payam-e-Aramesh” (message of peace) church in Dezful who got married only two months ago, had a brief telephone conversation with his family on 21 October and told them that the interrogators have promised that he would be released soon.

At least three other Christian converts have been arrested in Dezful recently. They have been beaten and threatened to repel their faith, leave the country, or face death under torture.

On 10 October another Christian convert, Mohammad Ali Torabi, nicknamed  Davood, was also arrested in Dezful and transferred to Ahvaz. Torabi had also told his family that he would be released soon but he remains incarcerated after two weeks.

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

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