“In December 2011, an attack on the AOG church of Ahwaz resulted in the arrest of a number of those attending the Christmas service. Now, two of the three who remained in custody have been temporarily released on bail,” Mohabat News reports.
2/21/2012 Iran (Mohabat News) – In December 2011, an attack on the AOG church of Ahwaz resulted in the arrest of a number of those attending the Christmas service. Now, two of the three who remained in custody have been temporarily released on bail.
According to reporters of Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, two of those arrested by security authorities in an attack on the AOG church of Ahwaz, were eventually released on February 21, 2012 after enduring two further months of uncertainty in custody.
The two people released are Pastor Farhad Sabokroh and Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, a church minister. They submitted a title deed for each of them, valued at 200 million Tomans (about 200,000 USD) as the bail for their temporary release.
The other detainee, Davoud Alijani who is a member of the AOG church of Ahwaz, still remains in prison but it is being said that he will also be temporarily released on bail in the coming days.
Judicial authorities of Ahwaz had initially asked for 300 million Tomans (about 300,000 USD), in cash for Pastor Sabokroh’s release. However, after some of the leaders of the AOG church of Iran negotiated with these judicial authorities and explained that it is not possible to provide such a large amount of money in cash, they changed their demand and agreed to receive the deed of a property instead.
In an interview with Hossein Jadidi, a lawyer, Mohabat News asked about the legitimacy of a demand of cash as bail for the release of Christian prisoners, according to Iranian laws. He answered, “None of the Iranian criminal codes mention that an amount of cash may be demanded for the release of people charged with such accusations. So, the initial demand of the judicial authorities contravened the law and could may have been posed only to pressure the family of the ones arrested. This is simply an illegal excuse to delay the release of the detainees.
After being arrested by Security officers of Ahwaz in Khuzestan province, these detainees were transferred to the custody center of the Intelligence office in Karoon prison for interrogation. Authorities have provided no explanation for the arrest of these Christians and their judicial status and accusations are still unknown.