Convictions against Three Christians Upheld on Appeal

The Court of Appeals upheld a ten-year prison sentence and other convictions against Christian Citizen Anoushavan Avodian. Additionally, in this legal case, two other Christian converts, Abbas Soori and Maryam Mohammadi had been fined 50 million tomans, which all were upheld on appeal.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Article 18, the convictions against three Iranian Christians were upheld by the Court of Appeals.

In May of 2022, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Afshari, sentenced Anoushavan Avodian to 10 years in prison, paying a fine and restrictions of rights for 10 years. Two other defendants of this case, Abbas Soori and Maryam Mohammadi were fined 50 million tomans, prohibited from membership in political groups, banned from leaving the country, and residing in Tehran Province and neighboring provinces. Also, they were ordered to appear once every three weeks at the Supervision and Follow Up office of the Judiciary for two years.

The above individuals have been convicted on the charge of “organizing and running evangelical “Zionist” home church with the intention to act against national security,” and, ” owning satellite dish and receivers.”

Their Attorney Iman Soleimani told HRANA: “All arguments provided by the defense lawyer in the court have been ignored and the verdict was issued based on the judicial officers’ workflow.”

The prosecution of Christian converts stands in blatant violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which state that every individual has the right to freedom of religion and belief and freedom to express it openly or secretly.

Prison Sentence of Asal Mohammadi Upheld by Court of Appeals

Branch 36 of the Court of Appeals upheld one year and eight months imprisonment sentence for Asal Mohammadi. Initially, Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran had convicted Mohammadi on the charges of “propaganda against the regime and assembly and collusion against national security.”

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the Court of Appeals upheld one year and eight months imprisonment sentence against workers’ rights activist Asal Mohammadi.

Mohammadi’s lawyer, Iman Soleimani, told HRANA, “During the detention, Mohammadi did not have access to a lawyer. During the trial process, I took her case but was not allowed to study the case documents or attend court sessions, which is a violation of Article 48 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Mohammadi was in poor mental condition. Contrary to what the law explicitly states, she had been interrogated without the accompaniment of a lawyer during the interrogation.”

On January 24, 2022, the trial was held and during the trial, participation in online campaigns such as “white torture” or membership in Marxist groups was used as evidence for the charges.

On November 6, 2021, the security forces arrested Mohammadi and Hirad Pirbodaghi in an aggressive manner.

Five days later, on November 11, Mohammadi was transferred to Public Ward 209 of Evin Prison and was released on bond on November 22, 2021.