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Continued detention for Christian couple in Iran

Continued detention with no apparent resolution for a new Christian couple in the city of Mashhad

ICC Note:

A Christian couple was recently arrested in Mashhad and are being held at Vakil-Abad detention center. It is believe they were arrested for hosting prayer and worship gatherings at their home.

1/16/2011 Iran (Mohabat News) – As of this time, no reasons have been offered for the arrest of this couple, but it is said that they have been detained due to their hosting of Christian prayer and worship meetings at their home.

According to the reports received by the reporters of the Iranian Christian News Agency, (Mohabat News), a new Christian couple were arrested by security forced in the city of Mashhad, which is the capital of the Province of Khorasan, approximately 800 km North-East of Tehran.

News sources have identified this couple as "Hassan Razavi Derakhshan," 65 years old accountant, and his wife, "Parya", 61 years old retired school teacher.

Based on reports received, on December 27, 2010, around 1-2 pm several plain-clothes security agents arrived at the home of Mr. Razavi, but only Parya, his wife, was at home. The officers identified themselves as agents of the revolutionary court and demanded that she should call her husband at his work place and ask him to return home immediately. Mr. Razavi, having sensed the imminent danger, notifies his colleagues that he is returning home.

Currently, there is no report about what transpired at home between the security forces and Mr. Razavi and his wife.

According to Mohabat News, once the family and relatives of this couple noticed their absence, they contacted his workplace and became aware of their arrests. The relatives of this couple, upon visiting the home in question, they notice that certain personal belongings, despite the fact that no furniture was moved, were missing. Items such as Bibles, Christian literatures, CDs, and pictures of Jesus which were hanging on the walls were removed by the security forces at the time of the arrest of this couple.

The colleagues and relatives of the couple contacted various judicial authorities several times, but no one was willing to give any information until, after many such efforts, they were notified that the couple were arrested and taken to the Vakil-Abad detention center.

Since the arrest of this couple, Mr. Razavi has twice been able to contact his relatives for a very brief time and to inform them of their well-being.

Informed sources have reported that the reason for the arrest of this couple has been their hosting of Christian prayer and worship meetings at their home. Also, it's has been reported that on December 22, 2010, they organized a Christmas celebration at their home.

Other reports indicate that Mrs. Razavi, who is 61 years old, had a major surgery on her spine, due to a car accident, and needs ongoing medical attention. She also had an oral surgery on her gums that was not completed.

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