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Petitioning Iran's Chief Justice

Release unjustly imprisoned Iranian Christian Farshid Fathi

·         Arrested because of his Christian faith: 26 December 2010
·         Imprisoned ever since
·         Sentenced to six years imprisonment: February 2012
·         Moved to violent and unpredictable prison: 19 August 2014
·         35th birthday: 3 September 2014

Why is Farshid in prison?

Farshid is an Iranian Christian pastor who is serving a six year sentence because of his Christian faith. Despite having no political agenda, an Iranian Revolutionary Court falsely declared Farshid’s Christian activities to be proof that was 'acting against the security of the Iranian nation'.  His imprisonment violates international law, to which Iran is a party, which guarantees freedom of religion and belief.

Conditions deteriorate

On Tuesday 19 August, Farshid's situation worsened: he was moved from Evin prison to the more brutal Rajai Shahr prison and there are now deep fears for his safety. Farshid is imprisoned in ward 10 of Rajai Shahr, where a guard is permanently on duty in the ward to stop violence between inmates.  The ward is home to hardened criminals and drug addicts. By incarcerating a prisoner of conscience alongside violent offenders, Iran is violating its own prison legislation, not to mention international law.

Farshid will spend his 35th birthday in Rajai Shahr on 3 September 2014.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/repression-of-christians-in-iran-1409594497

What can we achieve?
This petition will be presented to Iranian diplomats. Iran is sensitive to international opinion and publicity: this is part of a wider campaign to draw attention to Farshid's situation and to press for his release.  Behind-closed doors diplomacy work with Iran has been ongoing for Farshid, and his case has been highlighted to UN officials, the European parliament, UK parliament, Brazilian officials, and of course with thousands of Christians around the world who are praying for him.

We, his friends, are determined to ensure that Farshid is not forgotten.

Want to do more?

It's Farshid's 35th birthday on 3 September.  You can speak up for Farshid by sending 'happy birthday’ messages and images for Farshid to Iran’s Supreme Leader’s Twitter account @khamenei_ir and Iran’s state media @PressTV using the hashtag #happybirthdayFarshidFathi. Join us in reminding these central levers of power that Farshid is loved and will not be forgotten.

Farshid's story

Farshid has endured much suffering since his arbitrary arrest on 26 December 2010: solitary confinement; long hours of interrogation; psychological torture; and incarceration in a locked cell for the first 361 days of his sentence. After over a year in prison, he was finally brought to court and convicted on false political charges. Eventually Farshid was put in the section of Evin for political prisoners. He thought he would remain here until he was freed. In April 2014, he sustained a broken foot during an attack in his ward by security officials, and he was subsequently denied the medical attention and treatment that he needed. On 19 August 2014 he was suddenly moved to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj. Even according to Iran's own laws this was an illegal turn of the screw.

Despite the suffering he has endured, Farshid's Christian faith remains strong.

To find out more about Farshid's story, and to read inspiring letters he has sent from prison, visit www.freefarshid.org

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  • Iran's Chief Justice

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