Iranian convert completes prison sentence but still hasn't been released

Iranian Christian remains in prison for evangelising even after sentence ended on January 30, 2015.Photo: Blogspot/Iran Human Rights

It has been a week since his one-year prison sentence was completed, but Iranian Christian Ebrahim Firouzi still remains behind bars in Rajael-Shahr Prison.

Firouzi was sentenced to one year in prison in July 2013 by the Revolutionary Court in Robat-Karim for "evangelism activities... considered to be in opposition to the regime of the Republic Islamic of Iran."

According to Mohabat News, the Iranian Christian news agency, reported that Firouzi is still imprisoned more than a week after his sentence was supposed to end on January 13.

Mohabat News spoke to an individual who is close to Ebrahim Firouzi - and who asked to remain anonymous - and learned that Ebrahim's family was not allowed to post bail.

"The judge has issued a 200 million Toman bail (approximately $73,000 USD) for Ebrahim's release, but when his family went to post the bail, they were rejected," the source revealed.

The source told Mohabat News that Firouzi had appeared in court in January 2014. "Last January Ebrahim Firouzi was taken to a court where he denied all accusations. The judge told him since you denied your accusations, you will need to wait for the prosecutor to appear at the court with you," the source relayed, and added that it has been more than a year since that appearance but the prosecutor has not called for Firouzi to appear in court again.

Firouzi was arrested in March 2013 in his workplace by four security authorities wearing plain clothes. According to a Mohabat News article published at that time, authorities charged him for "propagating against the regime, desecrating Islamic holy figures, and for acting against national security."

He was reportedly tried in July 2013 without representation, because his family could not afford a lawyer to defend him in court. The court delivered his sentence directly to him.

Firouzi will also be exiled to the town of Sarbaz, at the border with Pakistan, as part of his sentence. Mohabat News said that this town has a significant Sunni Muslim population, comprising 70 per cent of the residents.