CHRI – While battling breast cancer for the past year, Kobra Kamrani’s only wish was to see her son Ebrahim Firoozi, a Christian convert who was imprisoned in Iran for alleged missionary activities.
She was too ill to make the trip to the prison but the authorities refused to grant Firoozi temporary leave for a short visit, leaving his mother to die on December 3, 2018, without being able to say goodbye, a source close to the family told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
Since 2014, Firoozi has been serving a five-year prison sentence for the charge of “creating a group with the intention of disturbing national security” for allegedly engaging in missionary activities.
When he was first arrested in January 2010, interrogators offered Firoozi freedom if he declared himself a Muslim. He refused and was convicted of “propaganda against the state” for converting to Christianity and allegedly promoting the faith and sentenced to five months in prison with an additional five-month suspended prison sentence.
Firoozi was freed on June 8, 2011, but was arrested again in March 2012 for allegedly “attempting to create a website teaching about Christianity” and was again charged with “propaganda against the state.”
For this act, he was sentenced to one year in prison and two years in exile by Judge Hassan Babaee of the Revolutionary Court in Robat Karim, 16 miles southwest of Tehran. The decision was upheld on appeal.
Firoozi’s third arrest took place on September 16, 2014.
During interrogations in Evin Prison’s Ward 240, Firoozi was put under intense pressure to issue a false confession in return for freedom but refused, according to an informed source.
Despite President Hassan Rouhani’s pledges during his election campaign in 2013 that “all ethnicities, all religions, even religious minorities, must feel justice,” the targeting of Christian converts has continued unabated under his administration.