Iran keeps Christian in prison for 3 years

From Mohabat News

Vahid Hakani, a Christian convert was conditionally released on Monday, January 26, 2015, after spending three years in Adel-Abad prison in Shiraz.

Knowledgeable sources said the Revolutionary Court made Mr. Hakkani sign a disclaimer before issuing his release order. In the disclaimer the court stated that he should not have any Christian-related activities or attend house-church services and Christian gatherings.

It is said that the Intelligence office of Shiraz has required him to sign the disclaimer. The condition for issuing his release order was that he would sign this disclaimer.

Conditional release in Iran means, authorities can summon the individual and even imprison him again whenever they decide to do so.

Mr. Hakkani is in poor health, thus in need of special medical care. He was mostly ill during his time in prison due to poor conditions. He had to be transferred to the prison's clinic several times.

Vahid Hakkani and several other Christian members of a house-church appeared in court and were convicted on June 10, 2013, in the heat of the Iranian presidential elections.

The court sentenced Vahid Hakkani, Mojtaba Seyyed-Alaedin Hossein, Homayoun Shokouhi and Mohammad-Reza Partoei (Kourosh) to three years and eight months each for attending a house-church, evangelism, contact with foreign Christian organizations, propaganda against the Islamic regime and threatening National Security.

The court's initial ruling was approved in branch 15 of the appeals' court on October 12, 2013. After this, Vahid Hakkani went on a hunger strike to protest the decision.

Again, on March 20, 2014, he went on another hunger strike to protest the rejection of his request for conditional release as well as inappropriate conditions in prison. This time his hunger strike lasted for 7 weeks and he broke his strike only after his fellow Christian prisoner, Kourosh Partoei was released.

He resumed his hunger strike on June 23, 2014, this time because the court turned down his appeal for conditional pardon as well as pardon for a few other Christian prisoners.

Mr. Hakkani was already suffering from digestive system problems, before going on his first hunger strike. His family even posted bail to get him proper treatment in Faghihi hospital, where he underwent surgery. Subsequent hunger strikes took a heavy toll on his health.

Mr. Hakkani had been arrested on February 8, 2012 along with nine other Christian converts in Shiraz. Security authorities spotted and raided their house church. Several of those arrested that day were released on bail over the course of the last three years. After Mr. Hakkani's release, from this group only Mojtaba Seyyed-Alaedin Hossein is still in prison. Mr. Hossein has an extra suspended sentence of eight months in prison in addition to his 44 month sentence. His family has been making every effort to obtain his conditional release order, but they have not been successful yet.


Published on by Patti Pierucci. Source.