Iranian Christian Convert Released Early from Prison; Two Other Converts Also Expected to be Freed Early

Iranian Flag, Abyaneh mountain village, Iran

One Iranian Christian convert imprisoned for his faith has been released early from prison and it is expected that two more converts will also be granted an early release.

According to Middle East Concern, Asghar Salehi was freed from his six-month prison sentence this week after being charged with propaganda against the Islamic Republic.

The nonprofit advocacy group that operates in 24 countries across the Middle East and North Africa previously reported that Salehi was arrested along with Mohammadreza Rezaei and four other associates in the Fars Province after their homes were raided by intelligence officers in September 2018.

Asghar was allegedly interrogated for three days in which he was kept blindfolded for most of the time. He was eventually transferred to Eghlid prison for eight days before being released on bail.

Asghar, Mohammadreza and one other convert whose name was not reported were summoned to a court hearing in Eghlid last April and charged for their Christian activities.

According to the advocacy group, the judge refused to allow Asghar to speak. Additionally, he was warned that he was being monitored and told he would have to commit to stopping his Christian activities before another court session.

Last September, the three men were reportedly sentenced to six months in prison under Article 500 of the Iranian legal code banning “propaganda against the System through promoting Zionist Christianity.”

Asghar was again arrested last December and sent to Eghlid prison. He and the other two applied for a pardon and early release. According to MEC, Asghar’s request for early release was granted after serving only two months of the six.

While he was freed on Feb. 2, MEC reports that the two other converts are scheduled to be released on Feb. 8.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith