“A house-church leader who had been arrested by security authorities because of his Christian faith together with some other Christian converts, has finally been released after 560 days in prison. During his imprisonment, he was put in solitary confinement and interrogated many times,” Mohabat News reports.
7/18/2012 Iran (Mohabat News) – A house-church leader who had been arrested by security authorities because of his Christian faith together with some other Christian converts, has finally been released after 560 days in prison. During his imprisonment, he was put in solitary confinement and interrogated many times.
According to Mohabat News reporters, a Christian convert, Noorollah Qabitizade, who had been arrested for his Christian faith, was released after being held captive for nearly 19 months.
Mr. Qabitizade spent his time in prison in Dezful and Ahwaz. He was released on July 16, 2012 from Karoon prison in Ahwaz following an order issued by judicial authorities of Khuzestan province.
Noorollah Qabitizade had been arrested on December 24, 2010 together with 10 other Christian converts. They had gathered to celebrate Christmas Eve in a house-church in Dezful when security authorities attacked their meeting, hand-cuffed and blind-folded him. He was then transferred to an abandoned house where only two security agents were present. Later he was transferred to the Intelligence office of Ahwaz for further interrogation.
The Iranian Christian, a resident of Dezful, was subjected to numerous interrogation sessions. Security interrogators subjected him to severe mental torture and solitary confinement in an effort to cause him leave his faith in Christianity. The mental torture ranged from forcing him to sign a disclaimer stating that he would stop evangelizing, to writing a letter denouncing his Christian faith.
His trial was held in September 2011 in Criminal Branch one of Ahwaz court, chaired by Judge Pour-Mohammadian. An eye witness told Mohabat News that Mr. Qabitizadeh was brought to the court with his hands and feet in chains. To put more mental pressure on him and intimidate him, he was also told that he was going to be sentenced to death in that session of his trial.
Noorollah Qabitizade, who is 48 years old, was among those arrested during a broad wave of arrests of Christians all across the country carried out by Iranian security and intelligence authorities at Christmas 2010.
At that time, security authorities arrested more than 60 Christians and house church members all across Iran in a pre-organized and well-coordinated plan. After these Christians were arrested, their families were informed that their charges were apostasy (changing religion), promoting Christianity and being in touch with Christian organizations as well as formation of house-churches.