November 9th, 2021 | Article Eighteenth 

Christian converts Sasan Khosravi and Habib Heydari have been summoned back to prison to serve the remainder of their one-year sentences for “propagating against the Islamic Republic by promoting Christianity.”

The two Christians have been on furlough since March, having only begun their sentences in February, but have now been told they must return to Bushehr Central Prison by Thursday, November 11th, to complete their sentences.

They were among seven Christians to have been sentenced in June 2020—all on the same charges.

Of the seven, Sasan, Habib, and Sasan’s brother Sam were given one-year sentences; Pooriya Peyma received a 91-day sentence; and Sam, Sasan and Pooriya’s wives were fined.

Sam and Sasan were also sentenced to two-year exile from their home city of Bushehr following their release, including a ban on any work within their specialist profession—the hospitality sector—while Sam’s wife, Maryam, was banned from working for any national institution, including the hospital she’d worked at for 20 years.

Only Sam, Sasan and Habib appealed—unsuccessfully—against the sentences.

The others chose to pay their fines or, in Pooriya’s case, to serve his sentence.

Pooriya began serving his sentence at the same time as Sasan and Habib, on February 9th. He was released after 52 days.

Sam and Maryam are meanwhile still fighting for custody of their adopted daughter, Lydia, after a court ruled in July last year that, as Christians, they were “unfit” to be her parents, because she is considered Muslim.

Last October, 120 lawyers and activists wrote an open letter to Ebrahim Raisi—who was at the time the head of the judiciary—asking him to overturn the decision after it was upheld by an appeals court.

The case was also referred to the Supreme Court, but there has been no change of verdict.