Iranian Christian Prisoner Released
By Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LONDON (ANS. AUG. 5, 2015) Alireza Seyyedian, a member of the Church of Iran denomination, has been released early from Evin Prison.
Human rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a news release that although Seyyedian was officially due to be released on Aug. 1, he was freed on July 27 after serving three years, six months and ten days in prison.
Seyyedian was initially arrested in June 2010 but released after posting a $50,000 bail.
However, in Dec. 2011, Seyyedian’s lawyer Mohammed Ali Dadkhah, said his client had been sentenced to six years imprisonment by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court for “propaganda against the regime” and “acting against national security.”
Dadkhah went on to say that Seyyedian’s baptism in Turkey the previous year had been interpreted as a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that there was a lack of freedom in Iran.
CSW reported the trial judge said, “We have enough priests in Iran to baptize him,” and concluded that he was “propagating against the regime.”
Seyyedian was re-arrested on March 14 2012 at the Iranian border as he tried to enter Turkey, and was subsequently imprisoned in Ward 350 of Evin Prison in Tehran.
During his imprisonment he is known to have spent time in solitary confinement, experienced ill health and had threats made against his family members.
CSW’s Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas said in the news release, “CSW welcomes the release of Alireza Seyyedian after being imprisoned for over three and a half years on unwarranted charges. While we rejoice at his early release, we do not forget hundreds of others who are still unjustly detained on unwarranted security-related charges, including Behnam Irani.”
Thomas continued, “CSW encourages the Iranian authorities to release all those imprisoned on such charges, to ensure due process and to guarantee the right to freedom of religion or belief, as articulated in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is party.”
For further information visit www.csw.org.uk
About the writer: 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, 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 “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on “From Destitute to Ph.D.” are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife, Elma. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at email@example.com.
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