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The Beating and Torture of a new Christian at the Shahryar detention center
ICC Note:

“A newly converted Christian man and an active member of a house-church was arrested by security forced and during his interrogation was severely beaten and tortured at the town of Shahryar’s detention center,” Iranian Christian News Agency reports.

12/27/2011 Iran (Mohabat News) – Due to severe physical injuries inflicted on this man, the security forces released him from detention on the condition that he would not seek any medical treatment from any doctor.

According to oral and visual reports received by Iranian Christian News Agency (Mohabat News), a newly converted Christian man and an active member of a house-church was arrested by security forced and during his interrogation was severely beaten and tortured at the town of Shahryar’s detention center.

Reports indicate that Mr. “Alireza Najafzadeh” is a 23 years old man who is married and has a newborn child. He is a resident of the town of Shahryar, in the vicinity of the city of Karaj, and is a member of the local house-church of Karaj, which is about 25 km from tehran. During the months of September of this year he was arrested on the charge of Christian activism and was severely beaten and tortured physically and psychologically for 3 days.

Witnesses from the town of Shahryar and Karaj who know this man indicate that Alireza is an honest and hardworking man who has a family and works hard to support them and spends his free times distributing Gospels to people of the area and assists those who have difficulties and need help.

This young Christian man, who has taken refuge in a secure place outside of Iran, spoke to the Mohabat News reporter about his ordeal and painful experiences:

“I had sensed that through my telephone number, which was used as a means of ordering Bible and offering social assistance to countless people in the community, I had been identified by the government security officers”

“On the eve of September 26, 2010, as I was returning home from work, I noticed that my house was under surveillance by unidentified and plain-clothes men. Therefore, I decided not to return home and instead stay away for a while. Later, I used a public pay-phone and called my wife, who was in her last month of pregnancy, and asked her about the men outside of my house. She told me that the plain-clothes men had entered the house and had identified themselves as officers belonging to the Ministry of Information and had questioned her about my whereabouts”

The security officers upon discovering that Alireza was not home locked his wife up in a room and began searching the house. They discovered several Christian books, including several Bibles, and other items of interest such a satellite dish. They collected all of the confiscated items and released his wife and told her that, if her husband called, she should inform him that the government officers have discovered evidence, collected from phone company , that connects him to illegal foreign Christian television networks and he should immediately call a certain telephone number and surrender himself to the authorities.

The Arrest and…

Finally, after two days and on the advice of some friends, Alireza called the number that was given to his wife and after receiving directions to the designated location, at 11 am, September 28, 2010, he surrendered himself to the authorities. In contacting the authorities by phone, he was instructed to report to a security unit of the town of Shahryar.

Tortured for his faith

Alireza was repeatedly interrogated. Thereafter, they would take him, on several occasions, to another room where they would handcuff him from behind and hang him from a hook. They would then begin to insult him, his family, his faith, Christianity, Christ, and everything else that would offend him and start whipping him with a loose cable or a water hose. Whenever, under such extreme duress and pain, Alireza would plead to his captors and agree to confess, they would bring him down from the hanging hook and would resume their questions regarding the house-church and his affiliation with foreign Christian networks and organizations.

After 2 months passing and still having the visible signs of torture on his body, Alireza told our reporter the continuation of this saga:

“Every time that my answers would not satisfy them, they would once again hang me from a hook and would start beating me harder than before with things like a cable chord or a water hose – so much that I would pass out. They would then pour water on me and as soon as I would come back to consciousness, they would resume their tortures. Every time they would torture me, the intensity of their violence would increase to a point that I would completely pass out.”

Freedom and escape

Finally, after 3 days of non-stop torture, the family of Alireza was able to find someone creditworthy to post bail and to free him from detention. The security officers were willing to release Alireza on one condition that upon his release and freedom he would, under no circumstances, seek no medical help or go to any hospital for treatment of all injuries resulted from the repeated beatings and torture he had received until his legal file would be reviewed by a local revolutionary court.

Alireza in speaking with the Iranian Christian News agency (mohabat news) said: “they told me that if I talk about my interrogation or torture with anyone or continue my Christian activities, I would face severe consequences such as being killed intentionally by a car that would look like an accident or my family would find my dead body in a farm field outside of the town with no reasonable explanation as to the cause of death.”

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