Iran: Pastor transferred to hospital after prison beating
A prisoner in Ward 350 of Iran's notorious Evin Prison, Pastor Farshid Fathi was transferred to Taleghani hospital on Sunday April 20 after a beating by Revolutionary Guards.
Fathi's cellmates confirmed the beating by officers.According to a story by Mohabat News, a group of Revolutionary Guards and others beat a number of inmates on the morning of April 17. A number of these prisoners were injured seriously enough to necessitate a transfer to outside hospitals.Reports indicate that Fathi was transferred to Taleghani Hospital to be treated for a broken toe and a joint injury.
Mohabat News said hospital doctors found Fathi's toe was fractured. Doctors put his foot in a cast, and said he will probably need surgery in a few weeks.
Mohabat News said Iranian security authorities arrested on Dec. 26 2010 in Tehran. A Revolutionary Court sentenced him to six years in prison for "being the chief-director of foreign organizations in Iran and gathering funds for these organizations."
According to Elam (www.elam.com), a ministry to strengthen and expand the church in Iran and beyond, Fathi se nt this message to praying friends on Easter Sunday.
"Today I celebrate our Lord's resurrection in a mixed feeling of joy and pain in a different way and in a different place. My left foot is in a cast after they broke it last Thursday in violations they applied against helpless prisoners under the excuse of inspections. After three days of pain, finally they took me chained and shackled to a hospital on Easter morning. Though I was in a dire pain, I took it as a gift from our Lord to get out of prison even for few hours."
He added, "Of course, we forgive them for all they have done to us because we are the followers of the One who says 'Father, please forgive them because they don't know what they are doing.' So my dear friends, please in these days pray for me that I may know him and be found in him and the power of resurrection."
Just like other Christians imprisoned in Iran, Fathi's case was also marked as political.
The head of Iran's Prisons Organisation, Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, denied any conflict between authorities and prisoners in ward 350.
Mohabat News reported he told ILNA News, "There were no beatings, nor was there any conflict between prisoners and guards."
In a statement, Amnesty International expressed its ongoing concerns about the dangers prisoners encounter in Ward 350.
Different media outlets identified the attackers as "Revolutionary Guard officers, intelligence agents and one hundred prison guards".
According to Mohabat News these reports also say, "Last Thursday's raid took place because prisoners protested against harsh treatment of by authorities while searching their belongings. The raid lasted for five hours. Authorities video recorded and photographed their entire operation."