- (Photo: Reuters)
The National Council of Resistance of Iran has advocated on behalf of persecuted religious minorities in Iran and has called for the humane treatment of Christians in prison in light of deteriorating conditions in some of the country's most notorious prisons.
The council revealed that agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security arrested Pastor Robert Assarian of the Assemblies of God Church in Tehran on Tuesday, May 21. The agents took the pastor to an unknown location and closed the church.
Another pastor, Behnam Irani, was not provided medical care by Gohardasht prison officials despite the fact that he has serious health conditions.
In Evin Prison in Tehran, Pastor Saeed Abedini, 36, was transported to a hospital last month after his health deteriorated. He has since returned to ward 350 of Evin Prison and does not receive basic medical care. Pastor Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison for establishing unsanctioned churches, which was considered "acting against national security."
The Christians imprisoned in Adel-Abad Prison in Shiraz suffer from diseases resulting from unfit prison conditions. One prisoner, Vahid Hakany, requires immediate surgery because of gastrointestinal bleeding; however, the prison guards and the judiciary in the province of Fars refused to provide these medical services.
Hakany and three other Christians were imprisoned on the charges of participating in unsanctioned meetings, proselytizing, communicating with foreign Christian organizations, spreading propaganda and threatening national security.
The Iranian Resistance calls all international bodies and human rights advocates to condemn the detention and torture of Christians. The resistance also urges UN Security Council to help stop the persecution of religious minorities in Iran.