(Mohabat News) – Prison authorities officially informed Pastor Fathi in Rajaei-Shahr prison about the approval of his additional one year sentence by branch 36 of the appeals court.
Reports received by Mohabat News indicate that prison authorities in Rajaei-Shahr prison have transferred Farshid Fathi and Alireza Seyyedian to hall two of ward one of the prison as well. Alireza Seyyedian is a member of a non-Trinitarian group.
The additional sentence for Farshid Fathi was issued following a raid on ward 350 of Evin prison on April 17, 2014, also known as “Black Thursday”. After the raid, prison guards accused Mr. Fathi of possession of alcohol in his cell. Although such cases are usually addressed by a judicial court, authorities submitted Farshid Fathi’s case to the infamous branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court. Pastor Fathi appeared at his hearing and denied the accusation of possession of two litres of alcohol. The court, however, issued its ruling on December 29, 2014, sentencing him to an additional year in prison and 74 lashes.
Even earlier, on August 19, 2014, Pastor Fathi had been transferred out of ward 350 of Evin prison into Rajaei-Shahr prison.
[Pastor Saeed Abedini was also transferred from Evin prison into Rajaei-Shahr prison in August 2014]
Pastor Fathi filed an appeal after hearing the initial court’s decision and now the appeals court has approved the sentence and he must serve an additional year in prison.
Transfer to another ward
Alireza Seyyedian is a member of a non-Trinitarian group known as “Church of Iran”. He is also serving a six year sentence. Mr. Seyyedian was arrested on his way to leave the country for a Persian New Year vacation on March 14, 2012.Pastor Fathi and Alireza Seyyedian were transferred to ward 1 hallway 2, immediately after hearing the approval of Mr. Fathi’s new sentence.
Judge Pir-Abbasi of branch 26, sentenced him to six years in prison and 90 lashes for acting against national security through collusion, gathering and propagating against the Islamic regime.
Sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the two prisoners are in a bad situation in ward 1 and are being kept with dangerous criminals, like thieves, and drug dealers, which is illegal based on Iran’s own laws of separation of criminals.
With this new approval of Mr. Fathi’s sentence and his transfer, Iranian authorities are sending a message that they are determined to increase their pressure on him and arbitrarily keep him in prison longer.
Pastor Fathi had first been arrested on December 26, 2010 in an organized raid on Christians and sentenced to six years in prison. A large group of Christians, mostly members of house churches, were arrested as part of that campaign in Tehran and other cities across the country. Read in Farsi
Please continue to pray for Christians imprisoned by the Iranian regime
‘My Wilderness’: A poem by Farshid Fathi
My wilderness is painful, but lovely. Some parts of my wilderness are covered with thorns and hurt my feet,
but I love it, and that’s why I call it ‘lovely pain’. My wilderness is so hot that my tears disappear before falling on the ground, but it is cool under Your shadows.
My wilderness is like an endless road, but short compared to eternity.
My wilderness is dry, but an oasis with the Holy Spirit’s rain.
My wilderness seems to be a lonely trip, but I am not alone- My beloved is with me.
Not only Him, but my faithful brothers and sisters, I carry them all in my heart.
My wilderness is dangerous, but safe, because I dwell between His Shoulders.*
So I love my wilderness, because it takes me to the deeper part of You, Lord, and no-one can separate me from Your arms forever.
by Farshid Fathi