News

Arrested Christians taken to Evin Prison

Arrested Christians taken to Evin Prison

Two Christians arrested almost two months ago are now in Ward 209 of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, Article18 understands.

Ebrahim Firouzi and Sevada Aghasar were arrested on 21 August at a friend’s office in Karaj, then taken away to an unknown location.

There had been no news of their situation until now, when it emerges that they have been held in solitary confinement since their arrest and were eventually allowed to contact their families.

During their arrest, they were held for three hours in the street while plainclothes officers waited for the authorities to supply them with an official order for their arrest.

Ebrahim is a Christian activist who has been arrested on several occasions for his Christian activities.

He was able to call his family on 17 October for a few minutes and also to meet with them briefly.

On 22 July, the 28-year-old convert to Christianity was sentenced to a year in prison and two years in exile in Sarbaz, in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, for “propaganda against the regime by establishing and organising Christian gatherings” and “having contacts with anti-revolutionary networks outside Iran”.

His re-arrest came as he was expecting a summons to Evin Prison to serve his sentence.

Sevada Agasar is an Armenian Christian from Tehran. Article18 understands he was able to contact his family a month after his arrest, on 26 September, and to meet with them.

The charges against him are not yet clear, though it appears his arrest was a result of his attempts to contact Persian-speaking Christians on Facebook.

Despite the election promises of Hassan Rouhani to improve the situation for religious minorities, the arrests of active Christians, closure of Persian-speaking churches, and issuance of unfair sentences, especially for Persian-speaking Christians, continue.

More than 42 Christians are currently in prison in Iran because of their religious activities.

Last month, four Christian converts lost their appeal against jail sentences of three years and eight months.

Mojtaba Hosseini, Homayoun Shokouhi, Vahid Hakkani, and Mohammad-Reza Partoei were arrested on 8 February 2012 and in June 2013 convicted of attending an illegal “house church”, propagating Christianity, spreading propaganda against the state, and disrupting national security. They are serving their sentences is Shiraz’s Adel Abad Prison.

Meanwhile, Maryam Naghash Zargaran, another Christian being held in Evin Prison, was transferred to Modarres Hospital in Tehran on 7 September after having a heart attack.