Iranian Christian Prisoners Forced to Sign Blank Papers Ahead of Trial
Two Christian prisoners in Iran have been denied bail and were scheduled to attend court yesterday. This court is known for handling apostasy cases – apostasy is punishable by death in Iran – which is especially concerning as the two men were recently forced to sign blank papers. This could indicate that the authorities intend to use these blank papers to create a false confession or letters saying the men have renounced their faith. While it may be some time before the results of the hearing are known, it is with no doubt that these men are in danger for no other reason except that they are Christians.
11/23/17 Iran (Mohabat News) – The judicial authorities of Dezful in south-western Iran denied two Christian prisoners, Mohammad Ali Torabi and Abdol-Ali Pourmand, temporary release on bail, keeping them in jail until further notice. Authorities told their families that they may be tried on Wednesday, November 22 in Ahwaz.
Knowledgeable sources close to this case told Mohabat News their files have been submitted to Branch 1 of the Criminal Court in Ahwaz. This court is known to be handling apostasy cases. Apostasy can be punished by death under Islamic Sharia Lw.
The same sources stated that both Mr. Torabi and Mr. Pourmand have been forced to sign two blank pages. This raises the suspicion that Iranian authorities want these blank signed papers to either create fabricated confessions or letters indicating the two men have renounced their Christian faith.
Mohammad Ali Torabi (also known as Davoud) is a 39 year old member of the Payam-e Aramesh (Message of Peace) church. He was arrested on October 10, 2017 in his workplace in Dezful and immediately transferred to Ahwaz.
The other Christian prisoner, Abdol-Ali Pourmand (also known as Elias), is also a member of Payam-e Aramesh Church in Dezful who was arrested on October 19, 2017