Christians lose appeals against jail sentences in Shiraz

Christians lose appeals against jail sentences in Shiraz

Left to right: Homayoun Shokouhi, Mojtaba Hosseini, Vahid Hakkani, and Mohammad-Reza Partoei.

An appeals court in Shiraz has upheld the prison sentences of four Christian converts.

In June, Mojtaba Hosseini, Homayoun Shokouhi, Vahid Hakkani, and Mohammad-Reza Partoei were each sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for “promoting Christianity”, “association with Christian organisations abroad”, “propaganda against the state”, and “disrupting national security”.

This verdict was upheld by the appeals court, meaning the Christians will remain in Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz, known for its poor conditions.

The Christians were first arrested at a “house church” meeting on 8 February 2012.

In recent weeks, prisoners of conscience at Adel Abad Prison have faced more restrictions and pressures. 

According to a report from the Majghoban Noor website, which reports on the situation of Gonabadi dervishes, for more than a month political prisoners and prisoners of conscience have been prevented from access to regular drinking water. 

Instead, these prisoners, including dervishes, Christians and Baha’is, have been forced to buy water from the prison shop at a very high price. 

During the last two weeks, the deterioration of the cooling system in the prison has led to an increase in water consumption, which has therefore come at an additional cost to the prisoners. 

More than 42 Christians are currently in prison in Iran because of their Christian beliefs and activities, according to credible reports. In addition, 45 other Christians are awaiting trial or a final verdict.

Despite three months of the new government, there is still no change in the process of suppression and inhumane treatment of Christians, especially Persian-speaking converts.