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Another Christian Convert, Ebrahim Firouzi, Tried in Iran

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(Mohabat New Agency) Another Christian convert, Mr. Ebrahim Firouzi was tried in the Revolutionary Court in Robat Karim, a town near Tehran. His charges were officially announced in the court session.

According to Mohabat News, the trial of Mr. Ebrahim Firouzi, a Christian who had been arrested by security authorities, was held on July 6, 2013 in Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Robat Karim. The court session was chaired by Judge Babaei.

Ebrahim Firouzi, who is 28 years old, was arrested on March 7, 2013, when four plainclothes security officers raided his workplace. When arresting him, security authorities also confiscated his personal belongings, including his computer and books related to Christianity.

After spending 53 days in custody, Mr. Firouzi was temporarily released from Evin prison after posting a 30 million Tomans (Approx. 15,000 USD) bail in the form of the title deed of a property.

After being arrested, he was transferred to ward 209 of Evin prison and was subject to intense interrogations for ten days. He was then transferred to ward 350 of the prison where other Christian prisoners, Saeed Abedini, Farshid Fathi and Mostafa Bordbar were being held.

According to the report, some agents from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence were also present during his trial.

During the trial his charges were officially announced to him. He was charged with attempting to launch a Christian website, contact with suspicious foreigners, running online church services and promoting Christian Zionism.

Rejecting these charges, Mr. Ebrahimi declared himself innocent of promoting Christian Zionism and said these allegations against him are made up by security authorities and interrogators. Considering his objection, the judge decided that the indictment against him was defective. Therefore he postponed issuing his verdict.

At the same time all Mr. Firouzi’s identification documents were confiscated and he is effectively denied his normal social rights by not being able to have any kind of identification document.

Mr. Firouzi is a resident of Robat Karim, a town 20 kilometres south-west of Tehran. He lives in the same town as Sattar Beheshti, an Iranian labour activist and blogger, who was arrested and tortured to death by Iranian Cyber police, FATA.

It is worth mentioning that another Christian convert, Mr. Mohammad-Hadi (Mostafa) Bordbar was also tried on June 9, 2013 in Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran. Mr. Bordbar is a Christian resident of Rasht who had been arrested on December 27, 2012 during a Christian gathering held to celebrate Christmas.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, that monitors religious freedom worldwide, mentioned in its annual report that Iran, together with 14 other countries, are the greatest violators of religious freedom around in the world. The annual report accuses Iran of frequent violations of the rights of religious minorities, of the arrest and harassment of religious minorities, and of creating an atmosphere of terror among these minorities. The Iranian Constitution clearly recognizes religious freedom and the rights of members of non-Islamic faiths. However, the Islamic regime of Iran fails to observe its own laws. Furthermore, the Iranian regime does not honor International conventions it has signed that requires all countries under the convention to provide religious freedom for their citizens.

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