8.06.2020
Human Rights Without Frontiers

Four Iranian converts begin serving five-year prison sentences

Hossein Kadivar, Khalil Dehghanpour, Kamal Naamanian and Mohammed Vafadar obeyed a summons issued on 28 May. They had been released on bail of about $13,000 each last July. They presented themselves at Evan Prison on 2 June to begin serving their five-year sentence.

They were among nine Christian converts belonging to the “Church of Iran” denomination who were arrested over a four-week period at the beginning of 2019, accused of endangering state security and promoting Zionism. Following a disagreement with the judge over the choice of a defence lawyer, the other five men were immediately transferred to Evin prison, as they were unable to meet extortionate bail demands of about $130,000 each.

In October 2019 all nine were convicted of “acting against national security” and each sentenced to five years’ imprisonment. The sentences were upheld on appeal in February 2020.

Of the four men who presented themselves at Evin Prison earlier this week, three are married with families, while Mohammad is single.

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