Free Iranian Christian Pastor Behnam Irani, Suffering Poor Health in Prison
- Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament
Behnam Irani, an imprisoned Christian convert, is in deteriorating health and prison authorities are denying hismmedical care.
According to a report by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), Behnam Irani has a blood infection , and he might be sent to a hospital for a surgeryto remove part of his intestines, which are source of infection.
Behnam Irani has been arrested and tried for “crimes” against national security twice, first in December 2006 and second April 2010. Basically, in this instance, "crimes against national security" meant holding house church services leading Muslims to convert to the Christan faith.
The first time he was arrested was in December 2006. He was released on bail in January 2007. On February 23, 2008 Branch 30 of the Appellate Court in Tehran gave him a five year suspended sentence. Since it was a suspended sentence he was not required to go to prison, but was free on a five-year probation.
On April 14, 2010 Intelligence Ministry officers burst into a house church service, assaulted him and took him into custody. A service was taking place at the time and the security officials interrogated those attending as well as confiscating Bibles, Christian literature and DVD’s. Behnam was in prison for two months then he was released on bail in June 2010. In January 2011 he was tried for and convicted of crimes against national security.
On May 31, 2011 a warrant was issued for his arrest so he turned himself into the prison and began serving a one year sentence plus his five year suspended sentence.
WHEREAS: Pastor Behnam Irani is clearly a prisoner of conscience who has been imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedom of religion;
AND WHEREAS: Behnam Irani's continued imprisonment is therefore illegal under Article 18, Section 1, and Article 19, Sections 1 and 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as Article 24 of the Iranian Consitution;
AND WHEREAS: Pastor Behnam Irani is suffering poor health as a result of neglect and mistreatment by the prison authorities;
THEREFORE: We the undersigned demand that the international community bring all possible pressure to bear upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Pastor Behnam Irani, and furthermore to vacate his conviction and rescind all charges illegally brought against him.
The Free Iranian Christian Pastor Behnam Irani, Suffering Poor Health in Prison petition to Ahmed Shaheed, UN, UNHCHR, State Department, EU, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-Moon, European Parliament was written by John S. Burke and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.