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Sisters released on bail after paying 1 billion tomans

Sisters released on bail after paying 1 billion tomans

Shokoufeh (left) and Shima Zanganeh (Mohabat News)

Two sisters who were arrested in Ahvaz earlier this month and charged with “action against Iran’s national security through evangelism” have been released on bail.

Shima and Shokoufeh Zanganeh, who are aged 27 and 30 respectively, were arrested on 2 December by plainclothes Revolutionary Guards and after interrogation at the Intelligence Office transferred to Sepidar Prison.

Shokoufeh was released on Christmas Day and Shima on New Year’s Eve, after their family paid a combined sum of one billion tomans (nearly $90,000).

The two sisters, who are both converts to Christianity, were assaulted during their interrogation and had many of their personal items confiscated, including books, phones and computers.

For the first few days, it was unclear where they were being held, but after a few days’ detention Shima called her family to let them know that she and her sister were being held at the Amanieh Intelligence Office in Ahvaz.

On 12 December the sisters were brought before Branch 12 of the Revolutionary Court in Ahvaz, where they were charged with “action against Iran’s national security through evangelism” and their bail was set at 500 million tomans (nearly $45,000) each. They were then transferred to Sepidar Prison.

The Zanganeh family attempted to pay their bail amount on several occasions, but several times they were told by court officials that “the judge is not in today”.  

Meanwhile, two other converts arrested on the same day in Ahvaz, Farzad Behzadi and Abdollah Yousef, remain in detention in a prison in Mollasani, just to the north of Ahvaz. It is still unclear on what charges they are being detained.