A convert from Islam sentenced to five years in prison on a concocted charge of ‘disturbing the national security of Iran’ is expected to be granted an appeal this month after waiting more than a year for a hearing.
Although there is no evidence that any action will be taken other than to confirm his sentence, Ebrahim Firouzi, 31, is expected to have the hearing on his sentence within two weeks or by the end of the month at the latest, according to advocacy group Middle East Concern (MEC).
A judge in Branch 28 of the Revolutionary Court in April 2015 sentenced Firoozi to five years in prison for “creating a group with the intention of disturbing national security” for his role in organizing Christian meetings and conducting evangelical work. Firoozi appealed but has been waiting for a year for a hearing with no resolution.
During that time, Firoozi has been denied access to religious books, even though they were published with the permission of the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
A welder from Robat Karim, 25 kilometers (16 miles) southwest of Tehran, Firoozi, is being held in Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj. He was under the scrutiny of the Iranian security apparatus since January 2010, when he was arrested for leaving Islam and hosting religious meetings. A Revolutionary Court convicted him of creating “propaganda against the state” and sentenced him to 10 months in prison, of which five were suspended.
He was released on June 8, 2011, but then arrested again on March 8, 2012. Charged with creating “propaganda against the state” for allegedly trying to create a website about Christianity, he was sentenced to one year in prison and two years in exile.
On Sept. 16, 2013, Firouzi was arrested a third time and held in Evin Prison in Tehran, where he has been in legal limbo since the April 2015 sentence.
Source: Morning Star News
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