Supreme Court denies Christians retrial

Supreme Court denies Christians retrial

Left to right: Maryam (Khadijeh) Mohammadi, Anooshavan Avedian, and Abbas Soori.

Three Iranian Christians have been informed that the Supreme Court has refused to review their sentences of prison and exile for “propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam”.

Anooshavan Avedian, a 60-year-old Iranian-Armenian, faces 10 years in prison, while Christian converts Abbas Soori and Maryam Mohammadi, who are both in their mid-forties, must spend two years in internal exile, outside their home province of Tehran or any adjacent provinces. 

The two converts have also been banned from travelling abroad for two years, or membership of any social or political group, and forced to pay fines of 6m tomans ($190) for possessing satellite television receivers.

Anooshavan, meanwhile, faces 10-year’s “deprivation of social rights” following his release from prison, affecting for example any future employment opportunities.

Anooshavan and Abbas were informed of the rejection of their request for a retrial yesterday, while Maryam heard on 16 July.

The lawyer for Annoshavan and Abbas, Iman Soleimani, said the Supreme Court had rejected his client’s request out of hand, without even taking the time to look through the many documents he had provided.

In ruling not to give a retrial in Maryam’s case, the 26th Branch of the Supreme Court had stated that her lawyer had not provided any evidence that had not already been rejected by the appeal court.

But Mr Soleimani objected to this logic in his clients’ case, saying that he had only resubmitted the same evidence because it had not been properly considered by the appeal court.