World Watch Monitor | 060818
The four Iranian Christians who saw their ten-year prison sentences upheld by an appeal court earlier this month are expecting to have to report to prison any day now.
Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, and fellow Church of Iran members Yasser Mossayebzadeh, Saheb Fadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi could receive a call within the next 24 hours to report at the prison gate in their home city of Rasht, Mansour Borji from the London-based advocacy organisation Article 18 told World Watch Monitor.
The four Christians were convicted of “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running house churches, and appealed their sentences before the Revolutionary Court on 14 December last year but were unsuccessful.
Nadarkhani and Omidi, in addition to their jail terms, were also sentenced to two years’ internal exile, which they are to serve in the south of Iran, on the opposite side of the country from their homes near the Caspian Sea.
Four other Christians who also received lengthy sentences are still awaiting the outcome of their own appeals, which were heard in the Revolutionary Court by the same judge, Judge Hassan Babaee, who, according to Article 18, “doesn’t have a good track record in dealing with Christians arrested for their Christian activities”.