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Amin Khaki remains in prison as friends go home

Amin Khaki remains in prison as friends go home

Left to right: Yaghoob Nateghi, Milad Goodarzi, Amin Khaki, Alireza Nourmohammadi and Shahebedin Shahi.

Four Christian converts have completed their jail sentences and returned home. A fifth member of the group remains in prison.

Milad Goodarzi, Yaghoob Nateghi, Shahebedin Shahi and Alireza Nourmohammadi left the central detention centre in Karaj on Tuesday after completing their four-month sentences, including time in detention following arrest.

But their friend and fellow convert, Amin Khaki, still has nearly a year left to go of his longer sentence.

The five men – all members of the non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran” – were arrested during raids on their homes and workplaces in December 2017.

They were released in early 2018 after each posting bail of 30 million tomans (around $7,000).

In March this year, Milad, Yaghoob, Shahebedin and Alireza were sentenced to four months in prison; Amin, who had already spent a year in prison for his religious activities, was given an additional ten months – so 14 months in total – because of his prior conviction, which also means he is unlikely to be offered early release.

The charges against the five men were the same: “propaganda against the state”.

After failing with their appeals in June, the men submitted themselves to the central detention centre in Karaj on 6 July. Manoto News broadcast footage of the Christians – four of whom have young children – waving goodbye to their loved ones as they went to prison.

Now, three months on, four have returned home, but the waiting goes on for Amin.