ICC Note: Naser Navard-Galtapeh’s transfer to Evin Prison means that he is joining a long list of Christians who have been incarcerated—and subsequently abused—there. The abuse comes in many different forms: physical torture, pressure to convert, denial of medical care for preexisting or current health conditions, among others. Christians can spend months, sometimes years, in this prison. When they leave, their lives are forever changed.
02/16/2018 Iran (Christian Post) – An Iranian Christian who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his faith has reportedly been transferred to the infamous Evin prison in Tehran, known for its brutal treatment of Christians and attempts to get them to deconvert.
Naser Navard-Goltapeh’s 10-year prison sentence was upheld in November 2017, after being accused by the government of attempting to establish an underground church, which is illegal in the Islamic republic, as reported by Mohabat News.
“The court based its decision to convict Naser Navard-Goltapeh on a report by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, allegedly providing ample evidence that he attempted to undermine national security through establishing an ‘illegal house church network.’ However, when asked for the report to be presented to his attorney, the court refused,” said Kiarash Alipour, a spokesman for the Article 18 organization, a Christian rights advocacy group.
The Christian man was arrested back in June 2016 along with three other Christians at Azerbaijan’s “Word of Life” church in Baku.
Navard-Goltapeh’s attorney, Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, had tried to claim that his client had attended worship meetings that were focused only on his faith and nothing else, but attempts to have the Ministry of Intelligence help in reducing his sentence were unsuccessful.
Navard-Goltapeh has now been sent to Evin prison, which is known as being one of the most brutal prisons not only in Iran, but in the world.
Persecution watchdog and human rights groups regularly report of large scale prison beatings and torture going on in its premises, including an incident in 2014 where a Christian pastor was among 30 prisoners badly beaten during a raid.
Evangelical church leader Farshid Fathi suffered a broken foot during the raid, while the other prisoners had fractured skulls and broken ribs and limbs.
A famous case that made national headlines in America concerned pastor Saeed Abedini, who says that he was tortured on a daily basis in Evin, with authorities attempting to get him to renounce Jesus Christ.
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