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Iran Said to be Killing Imprisoned Pastor by Neglect

Denial of medical aid aimed at Behnam Irani succumbing to violence-related illness, sources say.

ICC Note:

A pastor languishing in an Iranian prison has been denied medical treatment and remains in poor health. “Due to injuries sustained from brutal beatings by prison guards and other inmates, Irani has suffered acute stomach ulcers and colon complications, resulting in weight loss, severe bleeding, and a blood infection,” Morning Star News reports.

12/7/2012 Iran (Morning Star News) – The condition of an Iranian pastor languishing in prison on charges of “actions against the Islamic state” is deteriorating as authorities intend to kill him by denying him medical treatment, according to sources close to the prisoner.

The sources say the health of pastor Behnam Irani, a married father of two, is deteriorating rapidly, according to Jason DeMars of Present Truth Ministries (PTM).

“The prison scheduled a time for him to have surgery several months ago, but mysteriously this decision was reversed, and he was not allowed to receive medical attention,” DeMars told Morning Star News. “Those close to the case believe this is a deliberate attempt to bring about the conditions so that Pastor Behnam would die in prison as a result of his sickness.”

Due to injuries sustained from brutal beatings by prison guards and other inmates, Irani has suffered acute stomach ulcers and colon complications, resulting in weight loss, severe bleeding, and a blood infection, according to a November report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Another aid agency, Release International, reported yesterday (Dec. 6) that Irani has been vomiting and is unable to speak.

In January 2011 Irani was sentenced to a year in prison in Ghezal Hesar, a notoriously violent prison, for alleged “actions against national security” – leading house-church worship, according to PTM. He had previously been arrested in 2006 for “actions against national security” and received a suspended five-year sentence in 2008, but in October 2011 a judge ordered him to serve the sentence in prison due to charges of leading a house-church service.

A further danger to Irani is that the judge declared him an apostate from Islam, a verdict that could bring the death penalty. Sources close to the case have told aid agencies that officials are intentionally denying him treatment so that he will die from his injuries.

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