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ICC Note: It is expected that by June 28th, two Iranian Christian men will receive a verdict which could send them to prison after being charged with acting against national security. One of the men, Ramiel Bet Tamraz, is the third individual within his immediate family to be targeted by the authorities because of their faith. The charge of acting against national security is commonly leveled against Iranian Christians, many of whom spend an average of 10 years in jail.       

06/20/2018 Iran (MEC) –  Iranian Christians request prayer following a court hearing on 18 June at Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Ramiel Bet Tamraz, an Assyrian Christian, and another man, a Christian convert, who has asked for his name to be withheld, were both charged with “acting against national security” by joining house churches. “Action against national security” is a charge commonly levelled against Christians in Iran. Judge Ahmadzadeh is expected to deliver his verdict in about ten days’ time. Both men were conditionally released from prison on 10 October 2016 after posting bail.

On 26 August 2016, Ramiel, a Christian from an ethnic Assyrian background, was arrested with four Christian convert friends when security officials from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security raided their picnic. They were detained in Evin Prison, Tehran, where all five men endured long periods of solitary confinement and intense interrogation.

Ramiel is the third person in his family facing court proceedings on account of his Christian identity and actions. His mother, Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, is appealing a five-year prison sentence for “acting against national security and against the regime by organising small groups, attending a seminary abroad and training church leaders and pastors to act as spies”. His father, pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, is appealing a ten-year prison sentence for “acting against national security”.

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