Middle East and North Africa

Christian convert released from prison in Iran

Mohammad Ali Torabi, A Christian convert awaiting trial was released on a 200 million Tomans (approx. 60,000 USD) bail on 22 November.

But there are no further updates available on fellow Christian convert and detainee, Abdol-Ali Pourmand’s situation. He is still being held in Dezful prison, south-western Iran.

Both Christian men were forced to sign a blank page each, prompting speculation that Iranian authorities were attempting to use the documents to forge a fake confession to use against them.

Mr Torabi was arrested at his workplace in Dezful on 10 October, and Mr Pourmand was arrested on 19 October. Pourmand has been prohibited from hiring a lawyer to represent him.

Forced or fake confessions and participation in Islamic prayer are two new tactics Iranian authorities use to pressure Christian prisoners to recant their faith.