Iranian Christian Granted Early Prison Release
02/04/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Iranian authorities have granted a Christian convert an early release from prison on February 2nd. Two other converts arrested with him are expected to be given an early release on February 8th.
Asghar Salehi, Mohammadreza Rezaei, and a third anonymous convert had their homes raided in September 2018. They are charged with propaganda against the state, a charge that the government often uses against Christians in an attempt to protect its Islamic identity. The three men were sentenced to six months in prison and lost their appeal. They began their prison sentence two months ago, but petitioned for a pardon and early release. Asghar was released first, and the two others are expected to be released later this week. They are being held in Eghlid Prison.
February marks the 41st anniversary of the founding of Iran’s Islamic government. It is common for prisoners to be released as a gesture of good will during this time. Others have noted that because the men are not living in a large city, they’re not a priority case for continued detainment. Regardless, Iran remains one of the top persecutors of Christians in the world. It rates as a Tier 1 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
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