Islamic Appeal Court Upholds Six Year Prison Term for Imprisoned Christian
By Jeremy Reynalds Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
IRAN (ANS) -- Farshid Fat'hi was one of the multitudes of Christian activists arrested by the security agencies of the Islamic Republic during Christmas 2010.
Now, according to the Farsi Christian News Network (FCNN) quoting the Harana News Agency from Tehran, Fat’hi’s six years prison term has been upheld by the country’s Court of Appeals.
FCNN commented that Fat’hi’s human rights, freedom of expression and religious freedom have “trampled and crushed.”
Also a house church organizer, FCNN said Fat’hi, from Tehran, was charged with “acting against national security through membership of the Christian organization Ilam, collection of funds and propaganda against the Islamic Regime by helping spread Christianity in the country.”
FCNN said despite large bail paid at the time of his arrest, Fat’hi was denied freedom and throughout the legal process, had no access to defense. Neither was he allowed to view charges brought against him, in either the original trial, or the Appeal Court.
FCNN said Harana pointed out a number of national laws and international treaties that the Islamic Ministry of Justice had “blatantly ignored and/or broken.” They included, Islamic Republic Constitution, The International Treaty on Human Rights and The United Nations International Convention on Civil and Political tights.
For example, FCNN said Article 23 of the Islamic Republic Constitution reads, “The investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.”
FCNN’s said Fat’hi’s prison term has shocked Iranians nationwide, Christians and non-Christians alike.
FCNN added that a number of human rights groups and activists, both inside the country and in the free world, have expressed their shock and outrage at Fat’hi’s sentence, and called for his immediate release.
FCNN said, “Farshid Fat’hi is, now more than ever, in need of you and Church’s support and prayers. His sense of pride in the service of God is shared by all Iranian-Christians. United in Christ, we call for his immediate freedom from this grossly unfair sentence.”
Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, http://www.joyjunction.org He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "Homeless in the City."