Iranian Christian Released by Authorities
04/06/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Another Iranian Christian, Amin Khaki, has been notified by prison authorities that he is released from serving his 14-month prison sentence which began this past July. He had previously been furloughed last month because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but had been told to report back to prison on April 18th. However, today he was told that he is now not required back in prison and that the bail he had set down as security shall be returned.
He is the second Iranian Christian to have received this news in recent days. Iran had furloughed several Christians because of COVID-19, but none whose prison sentences were more than 5 years, which is a common length of time for most Christian leaders. For those whose sentence is less than 5 years, it is unclear whether releasing prisoners from their full sentence is becoming a trend under COVID-19. Iran has struggled greatly to address the implications of the virus, and the country’s inhumane prison system is considered a prime hotspot for the outbreak.
Iran is being watched closely to see if a pattern is developing regarding these prisoners, but it is worth remembering the number of Christians who were detained by the authorities and remain missing, as well as those who are in jail for longer sentences. Iran has developed a deep network of persecution towards Christians and other religious minorities. While COVID-19 has changed many aspects of Iran, the government continues to make clear that religious minorities have no place in their Islamic nation.
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