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Mohammad Ali Torabi released on bail

Mohammad Ali Torabi released on bail

Christian convert Mohammad Ali Torabi has been released from Ahvaz Prison on a bail of 200 million tomans (around $60,000).

Mohammad, 39, who is known as David among his Christian friends and leads the Message of Peace Church, was arrested in Dezful on 10 October at his workplace in the Qal’a Sayyed district and transferred to Ahvaz.

A fellow church worker at the same Dezful church, Abdul Ali Pourmand, 38, also known as Elias, was arrested and transferred to Ahvaz prison 11 days later, on 21 October.

Last week it was reported that interrogators from the Ministry of Intelligence had forced both men to sign two blank pieces of paper, raising concerns that they could be used as evidence the men had confessed their crimes or renounced their faith.

A month after his arrest, Abdul, who is also a convert to Christianity, told his family from the prison telephone that he had been ordered to take part in Islamic prayers but had refused.

Iran’s treatment of Christians is in contravention of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as Article 25 of Iran’s Charter on Citizens’ Rights, which was unveiled under President Rouhani’s administration and states: “Citizens have freedom of thought. Inquisition is prohibited, and no one can be persecuted merely for his or her beliefs.”