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Iran: Christian woman convert begins two-year prison sentence

The U.S. State Department has classified Iran as a “country of particular concern” for “having engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom.” These violations of religious freedom often take the form of persecution of converts to Christianity, who are seen as threats to the state.

For previous coverage of Iran, see here.

“Christian woman convert begins two-year prison sentence,” Article 18, April 16, 2022:

A 51-year-old woman Christian convert today began serving a two-year prison sentence in Tehran’s Evin prison for “acting against national security by establishing and leading an Evangelical Christian church”.

Fariba Dalir, whose case has not been reported until now, was one of six converts arrested in Tehran in July last year, including her fiancé at the time and now husband, Soroush.

Five of the Christians were sentenced in December – Fariba to two years, and the other four, including Soroush, to 10 months for membership of the church.

However, due to time already spent in detention, these four were told they could instead choose to pay fines of 5 million tomans each (around $250) to escape further imprisonment.

The sixth Christian, a 17-year-old girl, was released without charge, but only after spending 10 days in solitary confinement, and being subjected to intense interrogations in a detention centre of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Fariba and Soroush themselves each spent over a month in solitary confinement at the detention centre following their arrests on 19 July 2021 – Fariba at a hair salon, and Soroush while driving his car.

Three of the other Christians, including the 17-year-old and another woman and her daughter, had been arrested at their homes the previous day.

The sixth Christian, a man, was arrested on the same day as Fariba and Soroush, but the names of these other Christians have not been divulged….

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