NEWS ALERT: Christian Women Still Detained In Iran After Reporter's Release

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

By Worthy News Staff

TEHRAN, IRAN (Worthy News)-- A Britain-based Christian rights group has urged Iran's government to release two female Christian converts who remained detained Tuesday, May 12, a day after an American-Iranian reporter was freed from jail amid international pressure.

"Following the release of Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi" from Tehran's notorious Evin prison,  "Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) urgently calls for the discharge of two female Christian converts from Islam still being held there without charge," the group said.

Maryam Rostampour, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were detained by Iranian security officers on March 5 this year after their apartment was searched and their Bibles confiscated amongst other items, CSW said.

It said that neither women violated Iranian or international law.


Iranian Christians say however there has been growing "government intimidation" of Christians in the strict Islamic country. In recent months dozens of Christians are known to have been imprisoned and there were reportedly some cases of torture.

Legislators have taken steps to mandate the death penalty for citizens who leave Islam and those who attempt to convert people to Christianity.

CSW said it hopes the Christian women will soon follow in the footsteps of Roxana Saberi, who was reunited with her parents Monday, May 11, after an appeals court reduced her eight-year sentence for espionage to a two-year suspended term.

”CSW warmly welcomes today’s news of Roxana Saberi’s release, but remains deeply concerned for the safety of Maryam and Marzieh, CSW’s Advocacy Director Tina Lambert said. "CSW believes both women are detained primarily because of their religious convictions. We urgently ask that the Iranian Government show the same prudence they expressed
in releasing Ms. Saberi by allowing these innocent Christian women to go free.”