ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Noorollah Qabitizade and other Christians were in prison
since Christmas of 2010. They were arrested during a private celebration in
Dezful. In prison they suffered torture and interrogation sessions to force them
to convert to Islam.
Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - After 560 days in jail, Iranian authorities
freed Noorollah Qabitizade (see photo Mohabat News), a Protestant pastor, and 10
other Muslim converts to Christianity. They were arrested in 2010 during an
illegal celebration of Christmas in Dezful. Their case is linked to large-scale
operation launched in 2010 by Tehran to stop proselytism and conversions to
Christianity, which has led to more than 60 arrests.
Qabitizade, 48, was released last July 17 from Karoon prison in the southwestern
city of Ahwaz, on the orders of the courts of the province of
In 19 months in detention, the man changed prison several
times. To convince him to abandon Christianity, jailers tortured him and locked
him up in solitary confinement.
At present it is unclear why he was
released. Local sources claim that the release of Qabitizade and 10 other
Christians is the result of the international campaign in favor of Youcef
Nadrkhani, a Protestant clergyman sentenced to death for apostasy in
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