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7 Christians released on bail, 26 still held

ICC Note:

Five women and two men were released from prison in late January 29. At least twenty-six Christians are still in prison, including Yousef Nadarkhani who has been sentenced to death for apostasy, Elam ministries reports.

1/30/2011 Iran (Elam Ministries) – Four women were released from Tehran’s Evin Prison last night (29th January 2011), and one woman and two men from the prison in Isfahan three days ago. They spent over a month in prison, most of them in solitary confinement, solely for being Christians. They were all arrested on December 26th, 2010 along with 31 others.

Sara Akhavan’s family had to surrender their trade licence, which means that if the authorities deem bail is broken, the family’s livelihood would be destroyed.This trade licence was not enough to also bring the release of Sara’s sister, Leila Akhavan still in Evin prison. Ladan Nouri, Nasrin Hosseini-nia, Anahita (her husband, Javad Zare still in prison)were the other women released temporarily on bail. Rafi Nadipoor, Basir Amini and Yasaman Yar-Ahmadi were released temporarily in Isfahan on bail.

There are reports that families of the three of the Christians in Mashad arrested earlier this month have been told they must pay $180,000 bail to secure their temporary release. The experience of prison and interrogation can be very traumatic and some Christians who endure this ordeal then decide to seek asylum in another country. Their families then not only lose their loved ones to exile, but also suffer the dire financial consequences as the state swallows up the bail money.

Traumatised Children Do Not Know Where Father Is

For thirty-four days the two children of Rasool and Maryam Abdolahi, both minors, have been without parents as both their mother and fatherwere abruptly arrested without warning in the early hours of December 26th, 2010. While their mother has been able to make few call,their ordeal is not over, as not only both parents are still in prison, but there has been no communication from their fatherwhatsoever. All the other prisoners were allowed to make few calls to their families – except Rasool Abdolahi. Church leaders are extremely concerned and ask for intense prayer for him.

Still 26 Christians In Prison

At least twenty-six Christians are still in prison, including Yousef Nadarkhani who has been sentenced to death for apostasy. Vahik and Sonia Abrahamian, and Arash and Arezoo Kermanjani, have been in prison in Hamadan now for nearly four months. There has been intense anxiety over Sonia’s health, exacerbated by prison conditions. There is also equal concern over, Mojtaba Keshavarz and ShahinRostami, held in Arak over three months, especially as Shahin is diabetic.

[Elam Ministries]