Christian convert begins prison sentence for ‘propaganda against Islamic Republic’

Publication Date: 28/7/2021

Source: Article 18

Christian convert Hamed Ashouri has begun his 10-month prison sentence for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic”.

The 31-year-old submitted himself to Karaj’s Central Prison yesterday.

Before doing so, he recorded a short video, in which he explained that he had been arrested for his Christian activities.

He added: “I thank God for considering me worthy of enduring this persecution because of Him.”

Hamed was arrested by Ministry of Intelligence agents two and a half years ago as he left his home in Fardis on the morning of 23 February 2019.

The intelligence agents proceeded to raid his home and confiscate all Christian items, including Bibles and other literature, as well as computer hard drives.

He was then taken to Rajaei Shahr Prison in Karaj, where he was held in solitary confinement for 10 days, before being transferred to Ghezel Hesar Prison, also in Karaj, for another two days.

During interrogations, Hamed was offered a large monthly salary if he “cooperated” by becoming an informant against other Christians.

When he refused, he was beaten.

Hamed was finally released on bail after submitting guarantees in the form of payslips.

Hamed and another family member were then forced to attend “re-education” sessions with an Islamic cleric.

After four such sessions, Hamed refused to participate in any more, and it was then that the court proceedings against him began.

The case against him was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but Hamed was eventually sentenced in April 2021 following a court hearing a month earlier at the 4th Branch of the Revolutionary Court in Karaj.

He was summoned to begin his prison sentence after the failure of his appeal on 26 June.

Hamed was initially told to submit himself to prison within 10 days of his failed appeal, but he was later given a few weeks longer.


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