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ICC Note: Pastor Farshid Fathi, imprisoned for his faith since 2010, has been denied his request to be transferred to hallway 12 of the prison where prisoners of conscience are housed. A prison imam filed a complaint against the pastor after he refused to give up his Christian books in the prison. This resulted with Fathi in a worse ward than the one in which he was previously detained. This happened despite the fact that prison imam’s have no right to search or punish prisoners.

06-25-2015 Iran (Mohabat News): The authorities of Rajaei-Shahr prison turned down Pastor Fathi’s request to be transferred to hallway 12 of the prison, despite his request being in line with the laws of categorization of inmates based on their crime.

An individual close to Pastor Fathi described his situation as difficult and said, “He had just gotten used to ward 10 when the imam began to spite him and wanted to seize his Christian books. When he refused, the imam claimed that Mr. Fathi had insulted him and filed a complaint. At the end, he caused Mr. Fathi to be sent to a worse ward”.

This happened although prison imams have no right to search prisoners or punish them. The cultural center in each prison assigns an imam to each ward for rehabilitation purposes only.

Pastor Fathi requested several times to be transferred to a ward designated for prisoners of conscience, as his situation in the hallway 2, ward 1 is unbearable. He even intended to go on a hunger strike, but his friends prevented him as he is already suffering from health issues.

Iranian Human Rights advocates believe unexpected and inappropriate transfers from one ward to another is used as a lever to apply pressure on prisoners, causing them additional discomfort by moving them from a place they have hardly gotten used to.

Pastor Fathi was arrested on December 26, 2010 and jailed in ward 209 of the notorious Evin prison. He was held there for a year in uncertainty, of which he spent five months in solitary confinement.

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