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Four Christian converts given 10-year prison sentences

Four Christian converts given 10-year prison sentences

Left to right: Saheb Fadaie, Yousef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh, and Youhan Omidi.

Four Christian converts have been sentenced to 10 years each in prison for “acting against national security by propagating house-churches and promoting ‘Zionist’ Christianity”.

The ruling against Yousef Nadarkhani, Mohammad Reza (Youhan) Omidi, Zaman (Saheb) Fadaie, and Mohammad Ali (Yasser) Mossayebzadeh comes just days after three other converts and an Iranian-Assyrian pastor were sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison on similar charges.

Both sentences were pronounced by the same judge, Mashallah Ahmadzadeh, at branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Separately, another Iranian convert and three Azerbaijani Christians also recently received 10-year sentences.

Yousef and Youhan have also been sentenced to two years’ exile – Yousef in Nik-Shahr and Youhan in Borazjan. 

Both of these locations are in the south of the country, far away from their families in Rasht. 

The verdict was dated 24 June, but was received by the lawyer for the four men on 6 July. 

They have lodged an appeal.

Background

The four men were arrested on 13 May 2016, alongside Yousef’s wife Fatemeh (Tina).

Yousef and Tina were released the same day, but the other three men were detained for two weeks, then released on bail of 100 million tomans (around $33,000).

Their first hearing took place on 8 May 2017, and the second on 14 June – both at the 26th branch of the Revolutionary Court, under Judge Ahmadzadeh.

Yousef has already spent years in prison and once faced the death sentence for “apostasy”, before an international outcry saw his sentence overturned.