11/14/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Iranian Christian convert Ibrahim Firouzi left his home on Monday to the remote city of Sarbaz, where will serve two years of internal exile over 1,000 miles away. Ibrahim was released from prison on October 26th and was given the time needed to prepare for exile. He had not seen his home since August 2013, and his mother passed away during the interim. His combined prison and exile sentence is the result of having faced national security charges because of his faith practice.
Although Ibrahim is forced into exile by the Iranian government, he is responsible for all financial expenses incurred as a result. He was responsible for funding his own travel to Sarbaz, finding his own accommodation and work opportunities. It is expected that he will stay in a hotel until he finds a job that can provide for accommodation. However, given his criminal conviction and Christian faith, finding a job will be very challenging.
The case of Ibrahim is the first time that the Iranian government has sentenced a Christian to internal exile in a remote city following imprisonment. However, there are several other cases open where imprisoned Christians are expected to serve a time of exile following release from jail. This includes Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and Mohammad Reza Omidi. As such, the situation of Ibrahim during this time of exile will serve as an indication of how the regime intends to pursue the implementation of exile sentences in the future.
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