Severe concern about health of imprisoned pastor

Severe concern about health of imprisoned pastor

Article18’s Advocacy Director, Mansour Borji, has expressed his concern about the physical condition of imprisoned church leader Behnam Irani.

“Various reports describe the physical condition of Behnam as deteriorating, and we are worried about him,” Borji says. “He has suffered gastrointestinal bleeding and needs surgery, but after 17 months of imprisonment at Karaj Central Prison, the prison authorities have not yet given him leave, and they have refused to pay for medical treatment for him, in spite of their legal obligations.”

Behnam is serving a six-year sentence for “actions against national security” and “propaganda against the system”.

He was taken to serve the sentence in May 2011 following his conviction in January 2011 and a year after his arrest during a raid on his “house church” in April 2010.

Initially, the Christian convert believed he was going to prison to serve a one-year sentence, but during his incarceration he learned that his one-year sentence had been added to an earlier suspended five-year jail term on similar charges, dating back to 2008.

His case has been widely reported by Christian websites and raised with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.