Iranian Christian convert Ebrahim Firouzi has reportedly been released from Rajaei Sahar prison this weekend after six years in custody. He is one of the Iranian Christians that ICC has been speaking out on behalf of through letter-writing campaigns and advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C.
Firouzi was originally arrested in August 2013 on charges of “propaganda against the Islamic Republic,” “launching and directing evangelism,” and “running a Christian website.” He was sentenced to one year in prison and two years of exile to the Sarbaz region of southeastern Iran. However, after serving his one-year sentence, Firouzi was retried and convicted on new charges of “actions against national security,” “being present at an illegal gathering,” and “collusion with foreign entities,” resulting in a new sentence of five years in prison.
Upon his release on October 26th, prison officials wanted to ensure that he went straight into exile, but he has been granted temporary release to order his personal affairs.
Iran has been increasingly conflating national security and the protection of Islam, its state religion, by charging Christians with various crimes against the state. Earlier this month, ICC reported on nine Christians that were sentenced to five years in prison for their participation in a home church. Each will appeal their conviction, however, they need continued support from the international community so that the Iranian government does not believe that their persecution of Christians goes unnoticed.
Date published: 03/11/2019
Feature image: Iranian Christian convert Ebrahim Firouzi
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