Iranian Christian’s Sentence Partially Overturned

07/15/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – This past Sunday, Iranian Christian convert Ismaeil Maghrebinejad was informed that his three-year jail sentence for “insulting Islamic sacred beliefs” was overturned on appeal. Ismaeil is still awaiting the results of two other appeals for his charges of “propaganda against the state” and membership of a “Zionist Evangelical Christian group hostile to the regime.”

The sentence which was overturned involved a charge against him where he responded to a social media joke about Iranian clerics with a smiley face emoji. The verdict for this appeal was handed down on July 5th by Judge Jamshid Kashkouli. His lawyer argued the Ismaeil was not the originator of the joke, and that clerics are not considered sacred in Islam, so Ismaeil could not be guilty.

This is an encouraging verdict for Ismaeil and his family, especially after his sentences were initially increased by the previous judge. Iranian courts are known to be particularly harsh in their sentencing of Christians, and this positive outcome gives hope to Ismaeil’s family. However, they are still awaiting the results of the appeals against his two remaining sentences, which are two years and one year in length.

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