Free Iranian Christian Pastor Farhad Sabokrooh And His Wife Shahnaz Jayzan
- Ahmed Shaheed , OHCHR, Nvi Pillay,HRW, EU, Ban Ki-Moon, State Department, European Parliament
AUGUST 13 2013-- The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have denied furlough from prison for Christian Pastor Farhad Sabokrooh of the Rabani community church of Ahwaz and his wife Shahnaz Jayzan.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), the judge in the court denied the furlough of the Pastor and his wife on the pretext that the dossier of Farhad Sabokrooh has been lost.
With the existence of several copies from a dossier, losing a dossier is not such a normal occurrence though.
Farhad Sabokrooh and Shahnaz Jayzan were sentenced to one year imprisonment by the revolutionary court on charges of Conversion from Islam to Christianity, encouraging the conversion to Christianity of other Muslims, and propagating against the regime by promoting Christianity as missionaries.
Farhad Sabokrooh and his wife Shahnaz Jayzan are currently serving their sentences in Karoon prison of Ahwaz.
Pastor Farhad Sabokrooh, his wife Shahnaz Jayzan and church workers Naser Zaman-Dezfuli and Davoud Alijani were initially arrested in December 2011, after authorities in the southern town of Ahwaz raided their church’s Christmas celebrations and detained everyone in the building, including children attending Sunday School.
According to Iranian agency Mohabat News, all four were charged with “converting to Christianity and propagating against the Islamic Republic through evangelism”, and were each sentenced to one year in prison by the Revolutionary Court in Ahwaz. They were temporarily released, but were summoned to court on 1 May 2013 and re-arrested. Mr Alijani was transferred to Ahwaz’s Karoon Prison to complete his sentence, while Pastor Sabokrooh, Shahnaz Jayzan and Mr Zaman-Dezfuli were taken to Sepidar Prison.
AND WHEREAS: Pasto Farhad Sabakrooh and Shahnaz Jayzan are thus clearly prisoners of conscience and their prison sentences are completely illegal by all recognized international legal standards;
THEREFORE: We the undersigned demand that the international community bring all possible pressure to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to IMMEDIATELY and UNCONDTIONALLY release Pastor Farhad Sabokrooh and his wife Shahnaz Jayzan from prison, and, further, to rescind the illegal prison sentences imposed upon them and also to drop all charges against them.