Three Christians from the Church of Iran denomination have each been sentenced to five years in prison and fined four million Rials (approximately GBP 64.00) by the Revolutionary Court in Karaj, northern Iran.
According to the religious rights group, CSW, Amin Khaki, Milad Goudarzi and Alireza Nourmohammadi received the sentences on 26 June, after being convicted of “engaging in propaganda against the Islamic regime.” All three are appealing the verdict.
The three Christians stood trial in Karaj on 21 June 2021, charged with “sectarian activities” under a new amendment to the Iranian penal code. CSW’s sources report that during the trial the men were prevented from being represented by their lawyer, despite the fact that he had fulfilled all the necessary requirements for participation ten days before the trial began.
CSW’s Founder President Mervyn Thomas said: “The campaign of harassment against Iranian Christians is unrelenting, as these baseless charges against these three men, under a new clause in the penal code, demonstrate. CSW calls for the acquittal of these innocent men. We also reiterate our call for the repeal of laws and articles formulated or utilised to target minority communities.
“Finally, we urge the Iranian authorities to release all prisoners detained on account of their religion or belief, and to end the relentless campaign of harassment of Christians and other religious minorities through the judicial system.”