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Saheb Fadaie returns to prison after short furlough

Saheb Fadaie returns to prison after short furlough

Christian prisoner of conscience Saheb Fadaie has returned to prison after a five-day furlough.

Saheb, whose birth name is Zaman, has been in Tehran’s Evin Prison since his violent arrest in July 2018, serving what was initially a 10-year sentence, later reduced to six years.

This was Saheb’s first furlough since his incarceration, despite appealing for compassionate leave at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic – while his case was subject to a retrial – and then later when he began to experience symptoms of the virus.

Saheb also experienced ill health in December 2019, but was denied medical treatment despite suffering a constant fever for over a week, and hallucinating.

Saheb was one of four Christian converts given a 10-year sentence in July 2017 for his membership of a house-church in his home city of Rasht, northern Iran.

One of the other Christians has since been released – Mohammad Reza (Youhan) Omidi, whose sentence was reduced to two years during the retrial. However, Youhan is now serving two years in internal exile in the southwestern city of Borazjan and last month received 80 lashes as a result of a 2016 conviction for drinking wine with Communion.

Saheb was also sentenced to the 80 lashes, as well as fellow Christian convert Mohammad Ali (Yasser) Mossayebzadeh, and it is expected that, as in Youhan’s case, this punishment will be carried out following their release. 

Meanwhile, both Saheb and the fourth member of the group, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, also face two years’ internal exile following their release.

Saheb was sentenced to an additional 18 months in prison in September 2018 for “spreading propaganda against the regime”, but this was incorporated into his reduced six-year sentence during the retrial.