World News

Appeal hearing postponed for Iranian Christians

The appeal hearing scheduled for 24 February to review the sentences of Assyrian pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Issavi Khabizeh, and three Christian converts has been postponed once again, Middle East Concern reported.


Three long-standing related cases have been combined and are under review. The first involves Pastor Victor and Persian Christian converts Amin Nader Afshari and Kavian Fallah Mohammadi, who were arrested at a Christmas celebration in December 2014. The second case also involves Amin Nader Afshari, who was re-arrested in August 2016 with another convert, Hadi Asgar. The third involves Shamiram, summoned by the authorities in June 2017.

According to ICC, this most recent appeal was scheduled to occur on February 24. Although a new judge has been appointed for the appeal that appears more reasonable than those previous, the continual postponement does not incite confidence for the Iranian Christians.

Somehow the charges against all of them are related to “national security”. As MEConcern noted, Pastor Victor was sentenced in July 2017 to ten years’ imprisonment for ‘acting against national security.’ Amin, Hadi and Kavian also received prison sentences of between ten and fifteen years on similar charges. In January 2018 Shamiram was sentenced to five years in prison for “membership of a group with the purpose of disrupting national security” and another five years in prison for “gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security.”

See articles here and here.

Photo is courtesy of Unsplash.

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