Ebrahim Firouzi | Iran
Christian convert from Islam Ebrahim Firouzi has been in and out of prison in Iran since 2011, and though he was due to be released in January 2015, authorities instead retried him and extended his sentence by five years.
Ebrahim was first arrested on 11 January 2011. At that time, he was interrogated and held in jail from 154 days, before being conditionally released. In Iran, this conditional release means authorities can re-arrest you at any time to complete your sentence. In March 2013, he was arrested again and held for 53 days. On 13 July 2013, a court sentenced him to one year in prison following two years of exile for the crimes of: “propagating against the Islamic regime of Iran”, “Organizing evangelistic activities”, “Contact with foreigners”, “anti-Islamic revolutionary networks outside the country” and “administering a Christian website”.
On 21 August 2013, Ebrahim was arrested again, along with two friends. He was accused of spying. While his friends were later released on bail, he was held in Evin Prison in Tehran, until October 2014 when he was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison near Karaj.
He was due for release on 13 January 2015, but instead, he was kept in detention, retried in March 2015 and charged with “acting against national security”, “gathering”, and collusion.” He was sentenced to five years in prison.
Update – March 2017
Sources: Mohabat News, World Watch Monitor, 30 March 2017
Ebrahim Firouzi recently heard from the Iranian Court of Appeal that his five-year sentence has been upheld. The decision over Ebrahim Firouzi’s case – made in December 2016 but only just revealed – means he will not be released until January 2020. After release he will be exiled to Sarbaz, a deprived township in Sistan-Baluchestan.
Firouzi’s requests for special leave during his imprisonment have always been turned down. In the past, he has asked for leave to see his mother, who has had cancer for the past year, and whose poor health has left her unable to visit her son in prison. In July 2016, she sent a video message to court officials saying she believed the stress of not seeing him was the major cause of her cancer.
Rajaei-Shahri PrisonKaraj City
Karaj CityAlbourz State