Iran refuses to release Christian prisoners despite coronavirus outbreak

The Jerusalem Post reports: “Iran’s mullah regime refused on Tuesday to grant a temporary release to four imprisoned Christians amid a release of some 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, in an effort to stop the spread of the Middle East’s worst outbreak of the coronavirus.

The religious freedom organization Article18 wrote on its website: ‘Four Iranian Christians serving 10-year sentences in Tehran’s Evin prison are being denied temporary release, even though their requests for retrials have been accepted.’

According to Article18, the four Iranian Christians being jailed are Yousef Nadarkhani, 42; Mohammad Reza (Yohan) Omidi, 46; Zaman (Saheb) Fadaei, 36; and Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh, who is 58 years old and suffers from a number of serious health issues.

The religious freedom organization said that the Christians ‘have made several requests for release on bail since their retrials were accepted in October [except for Gol-Tapeh, whose request for a retrial was accepted in February], and their families are increasingly anxious about them in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.’

Mansour Borji, the research and advocacy director for the London-based organization, told, ‘We at Article18 ask for the immediate and unconditional release of all Christians detained on spurious charges related to their faith or religious activities. This is even more urgent given the current health crisis that threatens these detained Christians and their families back home.’…”

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