Christian Convert Esmaeil Narimanpour Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

Esmaeil Narimanpour, a Christian convert, has been sentenced to five years in prison by the Revolutionary Court of Ahvaz, as reported by Mohabat News.

Narimanpour was charged with “acting against national security through association with Zionist-Christian organizations.”

Narimanpour was initially arrested by security forces in Dezful county on December 24, 2023, and subsequently released on bail from Sheiban Prison, Ahvaz, in April 2024. During his arrest, security personnel conducted an extensive search and seized several of his possessions. Furthermore, on the day of his arrest, his wife and brother were detained and interrogated for hours at the Ministry of Intelligence Office in Ahvaz, but were later released after signing a commitment letter.

Narimanpour is affiliated with the Payam Rahaee Church and has previously been arrested for his non-violent religious activities. Despite Christians being legally recognized as a religious minority in Iran, there remains persistent surveillance and interference in their religious practices by security forces, particularly targeting Christian converts.

It is crucial to emphasize that such actions stand 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. These international instruments affirm the right of everyone to freedom of religion, the freedom to change their religion or belief, and the freedom to express these beliefs individually or collectively, openly or in private.