Iran – Four Christians Imprisoned After Raid At Engagement Ceremony

On 24 June, an engagement ceremony in Iran was raided by security agents. While ten people were initially arrested, all but four were released.


UPDATE 9 November 2016: Relatives and friends of three Christians from Azerbaijan and an Iranian Christian are delighted to report that they have all been released from prison on bail, and the Azerbaijanis were able to travel back home on the 6th of November.

The four men were kept in solitary confinement for two months and interrogated. Their whereabouts were not made known, to the concern of family members. They were refused access to consular assistance or legal counsel during the initial period of their detention. In September they were transferred out of solitary confinement to shared cells in Ward 350 in Evin Prison, much to their mutual encouragement. They face charges of engaging in missionary activity and propaganda against the regime, but it is hoped that they will be acquitted of these charges.


On 1 August the families of the three men from Azerbaijan released the following statement:

“On 22nd June 2016 our husbands and fathers – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – travelled to Tehran in the Islamic Republic of Iran. They were invited as guests in Iran to participate in an engagement ceremony and meet with their Iranian friends. As we discovered later, they were arrested on 24th June by security agents during an engagement ceremony and they have not been charged with any crime. Eldar (48), Yusif (51) and Bahram (37) are all married and have children. Yusif has a young son with Down’s Syndrome under his care. They have not been charged with any crime and their future is unknown to all of us. We ask all who are concerned to help our husbands and fathers to return safely to their homes!”

We have received an urgent request to write letters to appeal for their release.

In the past, prisoners have been released due to letters and appeals to embassies of Iran. Maryam and Marziyeh’s story is one example of this. Their book Captive in Iran, details their time in prison and their eventual release.

We are asking anyone who would like to help, to email the Iranian Embassy in Canberra (Australia) or Wellington (New Zealand) asking for the release of these fellow believers. This is a simple act that will not only help them, but will work as a testimony to the love Christians have for our fellow believers. We want to make our request known, while showing love and unity as one body in Christ.

If you would like to help in the appeal for their release there are two things you can do:

  1. Use the photographs of these men and their families to assist you in prayer. Pray for their health while in prison, their families who miss them, and their testimony in difficult circumstances.
  1. Use the following email, to request their release:
    Use the following message as a template you can copy and paste into an email.

AUSTRALIA

Email to:             amb.office@iranembassy.org.au

Subject:               Request for the urgent release of prisoners

To the Honourable Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran Abdolhossein Vahaji,

 I am writing you to express my concern regarding the situation of three citizens of Azerbaijan: Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov. They have been detained in Tehran since 24 June 2016, when they were arrested at an engagement party. So far no charges have been filed against them. Their sole purpose was to visit friends in Tehran who had invited them.

Their wives and children are very concerned for their welfare.

In light of Article 14 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which requires that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran treat non-Muslims fairly and respect their human rights, and in light of Iran’s obligations as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, I urge the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Gurbanov, Mr. Farhadov and Mr. Nasibov.

Yours sincerely,

 [your name]


NEW ZEALAND

Email to:             info@iranembassy.org.nz

Subject:               Request for the urgent release of prisoners

To the Honourable Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran Jalaladin Namini Miyanji,

 I am writing you to express my concern regarding the situation of three citizens of Azerbaijan: Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov. They have been detained in Tehran since 24 June 2016, when they were arrested at an engagement party. So far no charges have been filed against them. Their sole purpose was to visit friends in Tehran who had invited them.

Their wives and children are very concerned for their welfare.

In light of Article 14 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which requires that the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran treat non-Muslims fairly and respect their human rights, and in light of Iran’s obligations as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, I urge the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Gurbanov, Mr. Farhadov and Mr. Nasibov.

Yours sincerely,

 [your name]


Iran is considered the 9th hardest country in which to live as a Christian, according to the Open Doors World Watch List. In 1979 a revolution took place seeing the establishment of a restrictive Islamic Republic. Since then the country has had a semi-democratic government with a Supreme leader, known as the Ayatollah.

Top image: Evin prison, one of most notorious prisons in Iran. Christians have been imprisoned here in the past. 

8 thoughts on “Iran – Four Christians Imprisoned After Raid At Engagement Ceremony

  1. Pingback: Patru crestini au fost arestati in Iran in timpul unei ceremonii de logodna | agnus dei - english + romanian blog

  2. Pingback: 8/11 Update: Urgent—Speak out for 3 Christians Detained in Iran – 10/40 Church

  3. I have just writtem a mail in my language to the embassy in my country asking for release.

    By the way: the mail-link seems to paint to the wrong address. It is labeled […].au but points to […].ir.

    God continues to bless you!
    Thomas

    Like

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