Second Christian convert unexpectedly ‘pardoned’, released from Evin Prison

Second Christian convert unexpectedly ‘pardoned’, released from Evin Prison

A second Christian convert has been unexpectedly pardoned and released from Tehran’s Evin Prison just a day after the release of a 61-year-old man who had spent nearly five years in prison.

Fariba Dalir‘s release last night follows that of Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh the night before, which itself came just two days after a “hellish night” of fire and gunfire at the notorious prison.

Fariba spent over 200 days in detention, including more than a month in solitary confinement after her initial arrest in July last year. She had been in Evin Prison since Easter Saturday.

Fariba, her husband Soroush, and daughter Arezoo, who is in her early twenties, are said to be overjoyed at their reunion, while also recognising the increasingly difficult and dangerous predicament facing those who remain in the prison.

Reacting to the news, Article18’s director, Mansour Borji, said: “While we celebrate the recent release of Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh and Fariba Dalir, we remain deeply concerned for the health and security of all those who remain in Evin Prison, including at least 10 Christian prisoners of conscience.

Article18 knows of at least 10 Christian prisoners of conscience still in Evin, and a further eight in other prisons across the country, or in exile. The real figure is also likely to be higher, as not all cases are publicly reported.

Mr Borji added: “It is not difficult to assume that the recent releases may be an attempt by the Iranian government to deflect attention from the disturbing reports of the events at Evin on Saturday night, which claimed several lives. And while to-date over 9,000 protesters are said to have been arrested and more than 800 detainees have been identified, Iran’s overcrowded prisons remain incredibly high-risk places to be.”

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