A 26-year-old convert to Christianity was arrested following a violent raid on his home in Isfahan last week, Article18 can confirm.
Witnesses told Article18 that Sina Moloudian was dragged away from his home with bruises around his eyes following the raid, which took place at around 9am on Wednesday, 23 January.
Sina was reportedly told that he had been “under surveillance for months”.
Article18 understands that eight plainclothes officers claiming to be from the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) failed to show a warrant and forced their way inside his house by breaking down the door. Sina’s parents were also present during the raid and witnessed their son’s arrest.
The officers searched the house and confiscated Sina’s phone and computer, as well as his Bible and other Christian items, such as books, CDs and a cross.
Sina was then taken away to an unknown location.
He telephoned his family a few hours later to let them know he is being held in Isfahan’s Dastgerd Prison and will be taken to court, where he will be told the charges against him.
But when his family asked the authorities about where precisely he was being held, they refused to confirm that Sina was being held in Dastgerd Prison.
Earlier this month, Article18 published its inaugural annual report, noting the “unprecedented” wave of arrests of Christians that took place at the end of 2018 – a pattern that appears to be continuing into 2019. In one week alone, 114 Christians were arrested in raids on “house churches” in ten different cities.