Iran detains another Christian convert

Iran detains another Christian convert

Mohammad Ali Torabi, an Iranian convert to Christianity, has been arrested in the city of Dezful, in the southwest of the country.

Security agents detained Mohammad at his office in the Qal’a Sayyed district of Dezful on Tuesday, 10 October and took him to an unknown location. His family has no information on his whereabouts, so far.

Mohammad, who is known as Davoud by his Christian friends and leads the Message of Peace Church in Dezful, was arrested with two other Christian converts, but they were freed after being interrogated.

Several Iranian converts to Christianity have been arrested in recent months in Iran.

In many cases, the detainees were accused of “action against national security” through “organising or membership of home-churches”.

Article 18’s Advocacy Director, Mansour Borji, has dismissed such accusations as “illusory” and “the reflection of the Islamic republic’s security-oriented approach towards religious minorities”.

He added: “We are deeply concerned by the continuing use of baseless charges, which seem to act as a smokescreen for religiously motivated charges and are employed to further suppress the right to freedom of religion or belief in Iran.”

According to Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran ratified in 1975, “everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.

Last year, in a joint statement, 19 human rights organisations called on the international community to press Iran to end the persecution of newly converted Iranian Christians.