Iran Court Releases Christian Convert "On Bail"

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

By BosNewsLife News Center

TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife) -- An Iranian court has temporarily released an Iranian man who Christians say may be executed for converting from Islam to Christianity, reports said Monday, September 4.

Compass Direct News, a Christian news agency, said authorities in the northern city of Rasht released Christian convert Issa Motamedi Mojdehi on bail, August 24, saying the former Muslim “free for the moment.”

Motamedi Mojdehi was reportedly granted bail on the basis of “a written guarantee from a fellow Christian.”

Although initial drug charges that were the pretext for Motamedi Mojdehi’s arrest remain in his legal file, the judge apparently introduced new accusations against him at his August 24 hearing.


The judge reportedly said that unnamed “confidential witnesses,” told the court that the convert’s 8-year-old daughter Martha had been trying to lead other children to the Christian faith.

Iranian Christians have questioned the accusations and the drugs charges against Motamedi Mojdehi as he was jailed by the Ministry of Intelligence Security (MOIS), Iran’s notorious secret police, for apostasy, which was allegedly later changed into charges of illegal drug trafficking, Compass Direct News reported.

The 31-year-old, who converted seven years earlier, was detained July 24 and eventually transferred to Lakan Prison. Officials reportedly Motamedi Mojdehi that he would remain in jail and possibly face execution unless he renounced his Christian faith.

An officer identified only as Mr. Baghani warned him that it might take “several executions” before Iranians understand the consequences of apostasy under Islamic law, Compass Direct News said. Authorities apparently found out that Motamedi Mojdehi and his wife Parvah had converted to Christianity in January, when they chose a name from the Bible, Micah, for their newborn son.


Although religious freedom is guaranteed in Article 23 of the Iranian Constitution, in practice the theocratic regime strictly forbids the proselytizing of Muslims and targets any citizens believed to have abandoned Islam, human rights watchers say.

Under Iran’s judicial system based on Islamic law, anyone who leaves Islam for another religion has committed a capital offense. (With reports from Iran).

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