World News

Iranian authorities deny early release for Christian convert

An Iranian convert to Christianity who has served over one-third of a ten-year prison sentence for reading the Bible and allegedly taking part in missionary activities was told that his plea for early release has been denied.

 

The Tehran prosecutor’s office informed Nasser Navard Gol-Tapeh through a handwritten letter last month that his request for release wasn’t approved, Article 18 reported, adding that no explanation was given to the convert.

Nasser, who will turn 60 in August, had been assured several times by prison authorities in recent months that his request would be accepted. He is eligible for parole as he has served over one-third of his sentence for “actions against national security” because of his membership in a Tehran house church.

The convert was hoping to be reunited with his elderly mother, for whom he was the primary caregiver before he was arrested on June 24, 2016, while he was attending a Christian gathering.

After a few months of interrogation by government officials, Nasser was convicted in May 2017 on charges of “acting against national security through the formation and establishment of an illegal church organization in his home,” according to the Jubilee Campaign.

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