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06/06/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – On Monday, the appeal hearing of five Iranian Christians was once again postponed. Iranian-Assyrian Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Issavi, as well as converts Hadi Asgari, Kavian Fallah-Mohammadi, and Amin Afshar-Naderi all face five to fifteen-year sentences because of their Christian activities.

Pastor Bet-Tamraz and the three converts were sentenced in July 2017. Shamiram was sentenced in January 2018.  Although numerous appeals were filed, the courts keep postponing the case. Previously, the court gave reasons such as the court was too crowded or a new judge was assigned to the case. This time, no reason was given.

Iranian court cases involving Christians often unnecessarily prolonged. The system also gives Christians little opportunity for a fair trial. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the already existing problems surrounding these cases. The pandemic also worries the Bet-Tamraz’s daughter, as she is concerned that her parents will not fare well in prison due to their elderly age and preexisting health conditions.

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