Five Christians Sentenced to Prison
Translated by Laleh Gillani © 2011
Last week, five Iranian Christians were sentenced to a total of 5 years in prison despite the fact that they were exonerated of all charges by a lower court. They were retried because the prosecutor had objected to the initial verdicts.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the Appeals Court of Fars Province has handed down a one year prison term for Behroz Sadeq Khanjani, Mohammad Belyad, Nazli Kamarian, Parviz Khalaj and Mehdi Forotan.
Mathias Hagh-Nejad who was recently released on a bail approximately equivalent to $28,000 confirmed the verdicts against these individuals and said, “Additionally, I am waiting for my trial, and Mehrdad Gharoni, another Christian citizen, is locked up behind bars in the Intelligence Agency’s detention center in Esfahan. Yosef Nadarkhani will also be tried in Gilan’s Revolutionary Court, Branch 11, on September 25, 2011.
After the new verdicts were issued by the Appeals Court, these five Christian citizens were summoned to serve their prison terms.
Today, Christian Democratic Union in Germany released a letter written to Iranian Embassy to vehemently object to the incarceration of Yosef Nadarkhani and to ask for his immediate release. Yosef Nadarkhani is a Christian priest sentenced by Gilan’s Revolutionary Court to die on charges of apostasy.