Report on the condition of Christian detainees in Evin prison

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Report on the condition of Christian detainees in Evin prison

Post  palmtree on Mon 07 Sep 2009, 9:00 am

Following the arrest and detention of several Farsi-speaking Christian believers in an area North of Tehran there is no information on their condition, reports FCNN.

According to the report released by the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN), following the arrest of 25 newly converted Christians, who belong to a house-church in a Northern Suburb of Tehran, 7 of these believers continue to be held in solitary confinement and interrogated under very strenuous conditions.

FCNN reports that on 31st of July, 2009, security and intelligence officers in a coordinated and pre-planned sting operation attacked the homes of 25 newly converted Christians and arrested them all. This happened while these believers, in practicing the tenants of their faith, were engaged in group worship and prayers.

The Security officers as well as plain-clothes officers transported the detainees to an unknown location and after a thorough interrogation and the collection of their personal information temporarily released 18 of these believers. The remaining 7 were then taken to the infamous Evin Prison and were held in solitary cells.

The names of the detainees are as follows:

  1. Maryam Razandi

  2. Ashraf Omidi

  3. Mehdi Mohammadi

  4. Nariman Sharifi

  5. Mobina Lak

  6. Shahin

  7. Shahnam Yar-Mohammad Tosaki ( the leader of the house-church)

The report by FCNN further states that the security officers, after the interrogation of the detainees for many hours, proceeded to return to the homes of these detainees and began searching and seizing any and every personal effects such as computers, photographs, passports, books, and cash money.

Also, in a similar action on August 3rd, 2009, security officers entered the home of another Christian lady, Marzieh Fesahi, and after searching the house and the confiscation of many personal belongings, took her away to the Evin Prison.

Reports coming from sources in Iran have indicated that one the detainees, Mobina Lak, has been temporarily released from prison.

Following the insistence of the family members of these detainees in order to have the opportunity to visit with their loved ones, the prison officials have allowed them to meet their loved ones for a few minutes.

Mr. Shahnam Yar-Mohammad Tosaki, in meeting with his wife, expressed concern regarding the inhumane treatment that he and others have received while in detention. It was apparent that he was unable to walk comfortable, which indicated possible torture. Witnesses have reported that the security officers had a special order for the leader of the group and had indicated to the family of Mr. Tosaki that they knew everything about him, but would not discuss any details.

The same report indicates that these detainees have been arrested on several occasions and questioned for their beliefs and faith and have been subjected to lengthy interrogations.

After more than a month from the arrest and detention of these believers and despite the pursuit of their families, so far there has been no charges filed by the judiciary against these detainees and the authorities have purposely withheld any information or statements regarding these detainees.

The Committee of Christian Activists of the Human Rights in Iran not only expresses its deepest concerns regarding the arrest of these citizens, but strongly condemns their imprisonment in solitary confinement and the lack of access to lawyers. The lengthy interrogations coupled with physical psychological pressures exerted on these detainees, in attempting to obtain confessions, are illegal and inhumane. The above mentioned committee demands an immediate investigation of these alleged actions against prisoners of conscience and furthermore, declares any confessions obtained under duress to be false and illegal. The judicial authorities must allow these detainees access to the due process and the services of competent lawyers in order to defend their basic human rights.

It must be reminded that these arrests are the resultant of the ever increasing conversion of people from Islam to Christianity ion Iran. In the recent months many such incidents of arrests and detention of newly converted Christians and house-churches have occurred in many cities of Iran such as Easht, Sanandaj, and other towns in the province of Kurdistan.

Report on the condition of Christian detainees in Evin prison
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