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ICC Note:

An Iranian Christian in Southwestern Iran has been released on $60,000 bail after having been imprisoned for slightly over a month. Mohammad Ali Torabi is one of two Christians who were recently forced to sign blank papers. These papers can now be used to fabricate evidence against these men. The other Christian, Abdol Ali Pourmand, remains in prison. It is also reported that Christian prisoners are forced to pray the Islamic prayer during their incarceration. Iranian authorities are determined to make every aspect of life difficult for Christians, and the authorities have no regard for the religious freedom.


11/29/2017 Iran (Mohabat News) –    Mohammad Ali Torabi, a Christian man imprisoned in south-western Iran, was released on a 200 million Tomans (approx. 60,000 USD) bail on Wednesday November 22, 2017.

Mr. Torabi, who is 39 years old, is also known as Davoud among other Christians. He served in the Payam-e Aramesh (Message of Peace) Church in Dezful. He had been arrested in his workplace on Tuesday October 10, 2017 and immediately transferred to Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan province.

Another Christian serving in Payam-e Aramesh Church, Abdol-Ali Pourman (Elias), was also arrested nine days after Mr. Torabi’s arrest. There are no further updates available on his situation other than that he is being held in Dezful prison.

During the investigation phase of these two Christian prisoner cases the two men were forced to sign an empty confession paper. It is believed the interrogators of their cases need those empty signed papers in fabricating evidence against these men.

In another incident, about one month after Mr. Pourmand’s arrest, he told his family in a phone call that he has been repeatedly transferred to different wards in the prison and even one time he was forced to participate in Islamic prayer, which he refused.

Forced or fake confessions and participation in Islamic prayer are two new tactics the Iranian government and judicial system have employed in order to increase their pressure on prisoners of conscience, including Christian prisoners.

It is worth noting that according to Iranian laws, it is not legal to force citizens to sign empty paper and anything added to a signed paper after it being signed should not have any legal merit in court. However, it seems the Iranian government is willing to bend its own laws in order to increase pressure on Christian convert citizens.

Iranian Christian converts are often arrested under political charges such as propagation against the Islamic government or action against national security. However, once Christians converts are arrested in Iran, the majority of their interrogators’ efforts is focused on convincing them to renounce their faith and become Muslims again!

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