11/04/2020 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Saheb Zaman Fadaie, an Iranian Christian convert who served as a deacon in his church in Rasht, has returned to Evin Prison following a 5-day furlough. This was his first furlough since starting his sentence two years ago, although he did appeal for furlough at the start of the pandemic and would later experience COVID symptoms.
Fadaie was arrested during a house raid with a number of other members of the House Church of Iran in May 2016. He was sentenced to ten years for “acting against national security, propagating house churches, and promoting Zionist Christianity.” However, he faced a retrial in May 2020 which reduced his sentence to six years incarceration. He also was sentenced to eighty lashes for the consumption of alcohol (communion wine) at the time of the house raid.
Medical neglect is a common theme in the narrative of persecution experienced by Fadaie. When he experienced an illness last December that included fever hallucinations, the authorities denied medical treatment. The pandemic reached Iran just a few short months later, but the authorities refused to allow Fadaie compassionate release, despite granting it to others. This kind of medical discrimination against Christians is common in Iran’s prisons.
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