Six Christian Converts Convicted While Attention was on Presidential Election

Source:  www.assistnews.net

Date:  2013-06-17

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

IRAN (ANS) -- With so much attention focused on Iran's presidential election, there was "minimal" media coverage of the recent conviction of six Christian believers.

According to Mohabat Iranian Christian News Agency, the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz convicted Mojtaba Seyyed-Alaedin Hossein, Mohammad-Reza Partoei (Koorosh), Vahid Hakkani and Homayoun Shokouhi.

The four men were found guilty of attending a house church, spreading Christianity, having contact with foreign ministries, propaganda against the regime and disrupting national security. Each was sentenced to three year and eight months in prison.

In addition, Mohabat News reported, Homayoun Shokouhi and Mojtaba Seyyed-Alaedin Hossein were sentenced to eight more months in prison.

Fariba Nazemina and her 17 year old son, Nima Shokouhi, each received a two year suspended prison sentence.

Mohabat News said the sentence these individuals received is what is known as an "initial" one, meaning they have 20 days to appeal the ruling if they wish.

Mohabat News said after this ruling was made, all contact with these individuals is lost.

Mohabat News said the sentences were handed down while headlines focused on the Iranian presidential election.

Mohabat News commented, "It seems that the Iranian Intelligence organizations have been actively pursuing their intentions during the past one and a half months of presidential election activities to pressure non-Muslim Iranians (in) the most severe form possible. With people and media so much engaged in elections, this time is a golden opportunity for Iran's Islamic regime to resume religious minority cases."

In another story of persecution, Mohabat News said the agency earlier published a story about the critical health condition of another Christian prisoner, Vahid Hakkani. He has internal bleeding in his digestive system.

Mohabat News said reports indicate that the judicial authorities of Fars province have not taken action to alleviate the problem, and Hakkani's situation is worsening.

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