Christian Convert Hamed Ashouri Sent to Karaj Central Prison

On Tuesday, July 27, Christian convert Hamed Ashouri was sent to Karaj Central Prison to endure his sentence.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting the website Article 18, the Court of Appeals upheld Ashouri’s ten-month prison sentence the previous day.

Hamed Ashouri had been arrested by security forces in Fardis city in Karaj, in March 2017, and transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj for interrogation. He was temporarily released after ten days. It is alleged that security forces raided Mr. Ashouri’s home while he was in custody.

A hearing on the charges against this citizen was held in February 2020 in Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj. Finally, in April of this year, Mr. Ashouri was sentenced to 10 months in prison on charges of propaganda against the regime.

Despite the fact that Christians are recognized as a religious minority under Iranian law, security forces nevertheless pursue the issue of Muslims converting to Christianity with particular sensitivity.

The Iranian regime targets Christian converts despite 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.

Christian Convert Reza Zaeemi’s Prison Sentence Reduced to Nine Months by Appeal Court

The sentence of Reza Zaeemi, a Christian convert, was reduced by the Alborz Court of Appeals to 9 months in prison and a two-year ban from leaving the country. 40-year-old Zaeemi was sentenced by the Karaj Revolutionary Court to one year and six months in prison and a two-year ban from leaving the country in early February.

According to the HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Article 18, Reza Zaeemi was sentenced by the Alborz province court of appeals to nine months in prison and a two-year ban from leaving the country, a significant reduction from his previous sentence.

In January 2021, Mr. Zaeemi was sentenced to one year and six months in prison and a two-year prohibition of leaving the country by Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Karaj, presided by Judge Shabani. Mr. Zaeemi was charged with propaganda against the regime through propagation of evangelical Christianity.

Zaeemi was arrested in November 2020 by undercover forces near his residence  in Karaj. He was transferred to an IRGC intelligence detention center from an unknown location, four hours later, and denied access to a phone for the eight day duration of his detention, during which time his home was searched by security forces.

After ten days, Zaeemi was transferred from the IRGC Intelligence Detention Center to Ghezel Hesar Penitentiary by the order of the Judge of the Revolutionary Public Prosecutor’s Office in Karaj and was released on bail of 60 million Tomans after one week.

Reza Zaeemi is a Christian convert from Karaj.