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ICC Note: Christian prisoner Ebrahim Firouzi in Iran has suffered physical abuse at the hands of prison guards when forced to attend his appeal hearing. Firouzi was arrested in 2013 for his Christian activity being charged with “conspiring against the state” among other vague accusations. He was sentenced to five year in prison at the end of 2015.

07/17/2016 Iran (Church Central): Ebrahim Firouzi, an Iranian Christian prisoner in Rajai Shahr Prison in Iran, suffered physical abuse at the hands of prison guards when he was forced to attend an appeal hearing, Middle East Concern reports.

Based in the U.K., Middle East Concern is an advocacy group for persecuted Christians in the Middle East and North Africa.

 Original arrest

On August 21, 2013, Ebrahim was arrested with two friends during a raid by plain-clothed security officers. He had also been detained in 2011 and earlier in 2013 because of his Christian activities. The other two believers were released on bail after several months.

On October 2, 2014, Ebrahim was relocated from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison near Karaj. He was due for release on January 13, 2015 but was kept in detention, re-tried on March 5, 2015 and charged with “acting against national security, gathering and collusion”, Middle East Concern says.

Prison sentence

At the end of April 2015, Ebrahim was sentenced to five years in prison. He is in a ward with potentially dangerous criminals and last year went on hunger strike to protest against these conditions.

On July 13, 2016, Ebrahim was summoned to attend an appeal hearing, but refused to go as he was under the impression that it was sufficient for his lawyer to attend the hearing. Because of his refusal, he was beaten by prison guards and forcibly taken to court. One of the presiding judges was absent, however, and the appeal has been postponed until November 2016.

Ebrahim’s mother appealed for Ebrahim’s release in a video published by the Human Rights Activists News Agency.

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