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(Compass) – Iranian Christian Hamid Pourmand left Tehran ’s Evin Prison by armored car yesterday, en route to his home city of Bandar-i Bushehr to stand trial for his life before a sharia (Islamic) court. Some of Pourmand’s relatives were allowed to see him briefly before his departure from Tehran , but the prisoner was not permitted to speak with them. Gazing at them silently, he mouthed the words, “Please pray for me.” A colonel in the Iranian army who converted from Islam to Christianity 25 years ago, Pourmand faces execution by hanging under Iranian law for apostasy and proselytizing. The European Union registered a formal protest with Iranian authorities last November over Pourmand’s arrest, describing his incarceration and trial as an “infringement of the freedom of religion or belief.”