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ICC Note: Iran is continuing a crackdown on its Christian population. New charges have been brought against pastor Behnam Irani, who is already serving six years for “action against the state” for his role in the Iranian church. Reports have emerged in the last few weeks of new arrests of Christians, raids on house churches, and the transfer of a Christian pastor from a political prisoner ward to a violent criminal prison.

09/03/2014 Iran (Christian Solidarity Worldwide) – Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learned that Iranian pastor Behnam Irani is being held in solitary confinement and is facing 18 new charges, including “Mofsed-e-filarz”, translated as “spreading corruption on Earth”, which is a capital crime.

The charge is similar to “Moharabeh”, “warring against God”, which was recently levelled against another Christian, Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, and which can also entail capital punishment.

Pastor Irani was initially arrested in December 2006, and sentenced in 2011 to six years imprisonment for “action against the state” and “action against the order.”

In June, Pastor Irani was removed from prison and temporarily held in solitary confinement in a VEVAK (Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security) detention centre, where he was interrogated on five occasions for four hours each time. He was warned that if he did not obey VEVAK, he would receive a further sentence and remain in prison for a longer time.…

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