On 11 December, Christian converts Alireza and Amir Nourmohammadi were arrested along with Milad Goodarzi in Karaj by officers of the Iranian intelligence department. Milad was released after several hours but told to expect a further summons for questioning. Alireza and Amir remain detained.
Alireza and Milad were among several Christians arrested at their homes in December 2017, who were later sentenced to four months’ imprisonment for “propaganda against the regime”.
In November 2020 their homes were among 12 belonging to Christian converts in the Karaj region which were raided by intelligence agents, who confiscated Bibles, mobile phones and computers.
In June 2021 Alireza, Milad and another convert, Amin Khaki, were each sentenced to five years in prison plus a fine of 40 million tomans (then approximately $11,350) for “engaging in propaganda that educates in a deviant way contrary to the holy religion of Islam”.
On appeal, the prison sentences were reduced to three years and the fines waived. They were released from Karaj Central Prison in March 2023 as part of a general amnesty granted to prisoners for the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
The situation of these converts exposes the persistent harassment from the Iranian authorities faced by members of religious communities not recognised by the State – including home raids, confiscation of personal items, multiple summons for questioning, arrests, prosecution, and convictions for the peaceful expression of their faith.