Thursday, July 25, 2013

Another Christian Convert Tried in Iran

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- Another Christian convert was tried in the Revolutionary Court in Robat Karim, a town near Tehran.
Ebrahim Firouzi
According to a story by Mohabat News, the trial of Ebrahim Firouzi, 28, who had been arrested by security authorities, was held on July 6 2013.

Firouzi's charges were officially announced to him during the trial. He was charged with attempting to launch a Christian website, contact with suspicious foreigners, running online church services and promoting Christian Zionism.

Mohabat News said Firouzi was arrested on March 7 2013, when four plainclothes security officers raided his workplace. While arresting Firouzi, authorities also confiscated his personal belongings, including his computer and books related to Christianity.

Mohabat News said after spending 53 days in custody, Firouzi was temporarily released from Evin prison after posting a 30 million Tomans (approx. 15,000 USD) bail. 

He used property as collateral for that sum.

After being arrested, Firouzi was transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison. Mohabat News said he was "subject(ed) to intense interrogations for ten days."

He was then moved to Ward 350 of the prison where other Christian prisoners, Saeed Abedini, Farshid Fathi and Mostafa Bordbar are being held.

Mohabat News said according to a report, some agents from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence were also present during Firouzi's trial.

Mohabat News reported that Firouzi said he was innocent of promoting Christian Zionism and that the charges were made up by security authorities and interrogators.

After considering Firouzi's plea, Mohabat News said "the judge decided that the indictment against him was defective. Therefore he postponed issuing his verdict."

At the same time, Mohabat News said, all of Firouzi's ID has been confiscated.

Mohabat News said Firouzi is a resident of Robat Karim, a town 20 kilometers southwest of Tehran. He lives in the same town as Sattar Beheshti, an Iranian labor activist and blogger, who was arrested and tortured to death by Iranian authorities.

Mohabat News said the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, that monitors religious freed om worldwide, said in its annual report that Iran, together with 14 other countries, are the greatest violators of religious freedom around in the world.

Mohabat News said the annual report accuses Iran of frequent violations of the rights of religious minorities, of the arrest and harassment of religious minorities, and creating an atmosphere of terror among these minorities.

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