Iranian Christian prisoner denied urgent surgery

May 14, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

A Christian prisoner in Iran who is in a critical condition suffering internal bleeding has been denied proper medical attention.

Vahid HakkaniIran, May 11, 2013: Vahid Hakkani, who has been detained in Shiraz since his arrest in February 2012, has been told by prison doctors that he urgently needs surgery, but officials have failed to arrange his transfer to a hospital.

Vahid is on a prison ward dedicated to prisoners of conscience, many of whom are suffering physical and mental health problems as a result of the poor conditions in which they are held.

He was arrested at a house church gathering along with a number of other Christians who were in attendance. They were accused of participating in house church services, evangelising and promoting Christianity, having contact with foreign Christian organisations, propagating against the regime and disturbing national security. They are yet to be convicted of any offence.

Meanwhile, an appeal court has upheld the one year prison sentence issued in October 2012 to Pastor Farhad Sabokrouh, his wife Shahnaz Jeizan, and two lay ministers, Naser Zamen Dezfuli and Davoud Alijani.

They were summoned to court in Ahwaz on 1 May, where they were arrested on the spot and transferred to prison. Their charges were announced as “converting to Christianity and propagating against the Islamic regime through evangelism”.

They had been arrested, along with the rest of the congregation of the Assemblies of God church in Ahwaz, during a service on 23 December 2011.

After being temporarily released on bail two months later, Pastor Farhad was banned from holding church services and meeting with other Christians. He was also ordered to leave Ahwaz, so he had to move to Tehran.

– barnabas team

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