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ICC Note: New prison sentences were handed down against three Iranian church leaders. The men were each given six year prison sentences for “action against national security” and “creating a network to overthrow the system” according to reports. For Behnam Irani these six years are in addition to six years he is already serving, also for his faith activities.

10/20/2014 Iran (Middle East Concern) – Greetings in the name of Jesus, our rock and saviour

On 7th October we requested prayer for imprisoned believers in Iran who were awaiting sentences. Those sentences have now been handed down.

Recall that three members of the “Church of Iran” movement, Behnam Irani, Abdolreza Haghnejad and Reza Rabbani had been charged with “spreading corruption on Earth,” a charge that can carry the death sentence. However, these charges were later dropped. They have instead been tried for “action against national security” and “creating a network to overthrow the System.”

The judge has sentenced each of them to 6 years imprisonment which will be served in exile in remote regions of Iran. Abdolreza and Reza are due to be sent to Minab prison in the south of Iran, whereas Behnam Irani is expected to be relocated soon to Zabol on the border with Afghanistan. Both of these locations will make visiting difficult for family and friends.

Behnam Irani was arrested in a raid on a house church in Karaj on 14th April 2010. He was released on bail but then sentenced in January 2011 for one year, to which a previous 5-year suspended sentence was added. He began serving his sentence on 31st May 2011. With the recent additional sentence of six years, Behnam is expected to serve a total of twelve years in prison and therefore is due for release in 2023.

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