Iran Releases Two Christian Prisoners on Bail

June 3, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: One News Now/Compass Direct News

Two Iranian converts to Christianity jailed for the past few weeks have been released by security police, who demanded valuable property deeds as bail collateral.

Authorities in the southern city of Shiraz set free 21-year-old Mojtaba Hussein late yesterday afternoon, requiring a bail guarantee worth US$20,000 for his freedom.

“This time it was the authorities who called in his family,” an Iranian Christian told Compass today. “They acted very differently from the first time, when they told them Mojtaba could not be released because he was refusing to cooperate. Now they are taking notice of international pressure about his case.”

Hussein remains under virtual house arrest, subjected to strict surveillance of all his communications.

Charged with “activities against our holy religion,” Hussein now has a formal court case filed against him.

The same official charge has been leveled against Hamoyon Shokohie Gholamzadeh, 58, another former Muslim who was arrested just two hours before authorities arrested Hussein and three members of his family after raiding their home on May 11.

But the charges against six other converts arrested with Hussein and Gholamzadeh accuse them only of “activities against the country.”

With the pending charges left open, all eight Christians could be called to court for trial at any time in the future.

Iranian security police routinely arrest and interrogate Christian converts, who are considered criminals guilty of apostasy against Islam. While in custody, the Christians are subjected to rough interrogations, attempting to forcibly extract information from them about Iran’s spreading network of illegal house churches.