ICC Note: Three Christians who have been sentenced to six years each in prison in Iran continue to have basic rights denied. The lawyer who is representing them in appealing their convictions was denied access prior to hearings on their appeal. The three, two pastors and a deacon are all convicted on activities as a result of their faith.
11/25/2014 Iran (Christian Post) The lawyer representing two Christian pastors and a deacon facing six years in prison in Iran for their faith has reportedly been denied access to his clients ahead of an appeal hearing.
“It is unacceptable that these men have been denied access to their legal counsel ahead of the court hearing. We remain concerned about the lack of due process in their case and the exceptional nature of their punishment. They have committed no crime and are effectively being punished for their faith,” said Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas on Monday.
“We are deeply concerned for their wellbeing and, in particular, for pastor Irani’s health, which has deteriorated significantly during his unjust detention. We urge the Iranian authorities to release these men and the many others who are being held in contravention of the international covenants guaranteeing freedom of religion or belief to which Iran is party,” Thomas added.
The lawyer, Vahid Moshkani Farahani, has been seeking to meet with pastor Behnam Irani, pastor Matthias Haghnejad and deacon Silas Rabbani ahead of the trial, but has been denied by Iranian authorities several times.
The Christians all received six-year sentences in October, and are facing an appeal at the Sixth Branch of Karaj Revolutionary Court.