ICC Note: Two Iranian Christians have been called back from bail to serve prison sentences given in 2013. Bijan Frokhpour Hghighi and Eskandar Rezaie were originally arrested during a raid on a prayer meeting in Shiraz. Both were sentenced with security-related charges including ‘action against national security’ and ‘propaganda against the order of the system.’ The charges are without any firm foundation.
7-7-2015 Iran (Christian Solidarity Worldwide): Iranian Christians Bijan Farokhpour Haghighi and Eskandar Rezaie have been recalled from bail to serve prison sentences they received in 2013.
The two men were originally sentenced in July 2013 for security-related charges. Bijan Farokhpour Haghighi was sentenced to three years in prison, while Eskandar Rezaie was sentenced to one year. Sources close to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) state that Eskandar Rezaie has been imprisoned at Adelabad Prison, while Bijan Farokhpour Haghighi is likely to be imprisoned soon.
The men were part of a group that was arrested in Shiraz on 12 October 2012, when security forces raided a prayer meeting. On 16 July 2013, the group was charged with ‘action against national security’ and ‘propaganda against the order of the system’. Despite an appeal, the sentences were upheld in a decision issued on 29 March 2014.
At the time of the group’s arrest, the National Council of the Church of Iran said, “In accordance with the Gospel, the Church is apolitical. While individual Christians are entitled to hold political opinions, the Church does not. These charges are entirely without foundation. However, as loyal citizens we will continue to pray for our leaders and for peace and reconciliation in our nation.”