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ICC Note: Imprisoned Iranian Christian Naser Navard-Goltapeh’s health is deteriorating due to a severe gum infection that needs immediate medical attention. He is being held in the infamous ward 8 of Evin Prison. This prison has a reputation of being a “torture factory” and prisoners are regularly denied care. Naser is serving a 10-year sentence for acting against national security by establishing house churches.        

05/03/2018 Iran (Mohabat News) –  Iranian Christian prisoner, Mr. Naser Navard-Goltapeh’s family have expressed their growing concern over his health as he is suffering from a severe case of gum infection which requires immediate medical attention.

One of his family members told Article 18 ministries in an interview, “if he does not receive immediate medical attention we are afraid he might lose all of his teeth.”

Mr. Navard-Goltapeh was admitted to the notorious Evin prison on January 20, 2018 to serve his 10 year sentence and is currently being held in ward 8 of the prison.

Mr. Navard-Goltapeh was arrested on June 24, 2016 in a private gathering with three believers from Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani believers arrested were identified as Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov, members of the “Word of Life” church in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. All those arrested were held in solitary confinement for two months as they went through intense interrogation. They were all eventually convicted in court for “illegal gathering and collusion against the Islamic regime through evangelism”.

All four Christians, including Naser Navard-Goltapeh, were temporarily released on a heavy bail (approx. 35,000 USD) after four months in jail. All three Azerbaijani Christians forfeited their bail and returned to their own country, Azerbaijan, immediately after their release.

Naser Navard-Goltapeh, however, stayed in Iran and waited to appear in court where he was found guilty in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court.

Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh sentenced him to 10 years in prison for “Action against national security and establishing house churches”. The judge based his ruling on evidences produced by the Ministry of Intelligence. None of the referenced evidence was presented during the court session or given to Mr. Navard-Goltapeh’s attorney to review.

Mr. Navard-Goltapeh appealed the sentence. However, an appeals court upheld the 10 year term on November 12, 2017, making it final.

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