ICC Note: The fate of five Iranian Christians remains unknown after they were arrested without warrant at the beginning of September. Families worry that the Iranian regime is intimidating the men and holding them whilst creating false charges to put against them. This detainment is illegal under Iranian law as it violates legal rights to a lawyer and lacks official to an listed crimes. Some of the men have lost their jobs during the prolonged absence and families continue to worry for the safety of their loved ones.
10/05/2016 Iran (Mohabat News): The Iranian judicial system is notorious for keeping political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in uncertainty for long periods without officially laying charges against them and the five Christians arrested in Firouz-Kouh county are no exception.
It was more than a month ago when these Christian men were arrested in a family party and their families still do not know the reason for their arrest.
Even by Iranian laws, this long period of detention without officially charging the detainees is illegal and violates their basic right of having access to a lawyer. No one is allowed to visit the detainees at this stage, not even their attorneys.
On August 26, 2016, Iranian police raided a family party being held in a garden in Firouz-Kouh county, near Tehran. They immediately put 17 of those present under arrest, but only took five of them with them to Evin prison. Those taken to Evin prison that evening were Ramil Bet-Tamraz, Amin Afshar Naderi, Hadi Asgari, Mohammad Dehnavi and Amir Saman Dashti.
The families of those taken to Evin prison did not know their whereabouts until three of them were allowed to contact their families briefly after days in detention.
Some reports indicate that the Iranian police have sealed the garden these families had gathered in. There are signs outside the garden stating that the garden has been sealed by the government and no one, including the owner, is allowed to enter.
Ramil Bet-Tamraz, is the son of the Assyrian pastor, Victor Bet-Tamraz, former leader of the Pentecostal Assyrian Church in Tehran. Reports indicate that he suffers from a number of health issues and the conditions in Evin prison are putting his health at serious risk.
Also, the families of these Christian prisoners report that some of them have been fired from their jobs due to their long absence.