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11/22/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – A newly emerging trend within Iran is the targeting of Muslim family members of Christians and the lawyers who defend them in court cases. One such example is Amirsalar Davoudi, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for “collaborating with an enemy of the state through interviews, propaganda against the state, insulting officials, and forming a group to overthrow the state.”

The crime of this lawyer is that he defended prisoners of conscience, including Christian convert Nasser Navard Goltapeh, who is imprisoned on national security charges because of his faith. The lawyer was arrested one year ago this week, just before he could submit Goltapeh’s retrial petition, forcing one of his deputies to fill the gap. Davoudi has not filed an appeal, arguing that he has done nothing wrong and has instead filed for a retrial. Both men are incarcerated in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, which is known for its severe human rights abuses.

Similar reports are frequently noted within the Iranian context. Christians are increasingly reporting that the regime is targeting their Muslim family members. Human rights lawyers, particularly those who defend prisoners of conscience, do so at extreme risk to themselves. The Iranian regime finds themselves under growing pressure from its citizens, who are angry at the serious abuses and corruption perpetrated by the government.

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