Saturday, June 22, 2013

More Christians Sentenced To Jail Time In Iran

More Christians have been sentenced to jail time in Iran.

The Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, 571 miles (920 kilometers) south of Tehran, issued prison sentences of 44 months to Mojtaba Seyyed-Alaedin Hossein, Mohammad-Reza Partoei, Vahid Hakkani, and Homayoun Shokouhi for “attending a house church, spreading Christianity, having contact with foreign ministries, propaganda against the regime, and disrupting national security,” according the Mohabat News Agency. They were tried in absentia.

They had been arrested in February 2012, when police raided their house-church meeting. Officials rejected their appeal for release on bail. Hossein and Shokouhi, previously arrested in 2008 on similar accusations and handed five-year suspended sentences, received an additional eight months of imprisonment above last week’s sentence of 44 months. Additionally, Shokouhi’s wife, Fariba Nazemina, and their son, Nima Shokouhi, each received two-year suspended prison sentences.

The four men are being held in Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz, which houses hardened criminals and often lacks heating or health facilities. Officials also routinely deny medical treatment to prisoners, and as a result, Hakkani is in critical condition due to internal bleeding, according to Mohabat. Prison doctors say he is in urgent need of surgery but has little chance of receiving treatment.

Will moderate Hassan Rohani make any changes when he takes over from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? I sincerely doubt it, but I hope I'm wrong.

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