ICC Note: A number of Iranian Christians who have been arrested and are serving prison time in Evin prison have been transferred to Rajaei-Shahr. The reasons are not entirely clear for the move, but there are reasons to be concerned about the treatment that these men will face. Also, for many families the limited visitation made available will now become even more difficult as the new prison is located more than 60 km from central Tehran. Dozens of Christians remain imprisoned for their faith, including Iranian American pastor Saeed Abedini.
10/23/2014 Iran (Mohabat News) – As part of the project to close down ward 350 of Evin prison, prison authorities moved seven prisoners of conscience to Rajaei-Shahr prison. After being admitted to the Rajaei-Shahr prison, they were held in the quarantine ward for several days and eventually were sent to different sections of the prison.
Mohabat News – Prison guards in Evin prison called seven prisoners of conscience out of their cells to be transferred to Rajaei-Shahr prison on Wednesday morning, October 8, 2014. Among the seven prisoners were two Christian converts and one member of the non-Trinitarian faith.
Rajaei-Shahr prison is located in Alborz province and none of the three prisoners with Christian-related charges have ever resided in that province. This transfer is against Iranian laws but prison authorities forcefully requested this move.
Reports identify the two Christian converts as Ebrahim Firouzi, and Rasoul Abdollahi, and the non-Trinitarian prisoner as Alireza Seyyedian.
Reports received by Mohabat News indicate that the mentioned prisoners were held in quarantine cells for a few days before being assigned to their new cells in Rajaei-Shahr prison. Rasoul Abdollahi and Alireza Seyyedian were sent to Ward 10, while Ebrahim Firouzi was sent to Corridor 1 of the same ward, where another Christian prisoner, Farshid Fathi, is being held.
Prior to this, Farshid Fathi, a Christian convert and house-church leader, had been moved from ward 350 of Evin prison to Rajaei-Shahr prison as well. So far, there is no clear indication as to why these transfers are taking place.
Earlier reports had stated that prison authorities of Rajaei-Shahr prison have a clear plan to separate Christian prisoners across different corridors to prevent them from communicating together.