We recently requested prayer for Assyrian Christian Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, facing an appeal hearing on 19 February. She is appealing a five years sentence, handed down on 6 January 2018, for acting against national security and acting against the regime by organising small groups, attending a seminary abroad and training church leaders and pastors to ‘act as spies’.
At the appeal hearing, the judge was reportedly confused as to whether her case was to be combined with two other cases. The other cases involve Victor Bet Tamraz (Shamiram’s husband), their son Ramiel Bet Tamraz and Christian converts Amin Nader Afshari, Hadi Asgari and Kavian Fallah Mohammadi as well as two others.
Pastor Victor was sentenced on 4 July 2017 to ten years’ imprisonment for acting against national security. Amin, Hadi and Kavian also received prison sentences of between ten and fifteen years for similar ‘offences’. These sentences were issued by Judge Ahmadzadeh of Tehran Revolutionary Court. It was reported on 14 January 2019 in the Iranian press that Judge Ahmadzadeh has himself been suspended from duty in relation to corruption charges.
On 11 July 2018 Ramiel (Pastor Victor and Shamiram’s son) and two others were sentenced to four months’ imprisonment. The month spent in Evin Prison at the time of Ramiel’s arrest will count towards the penalty, but the conviction is under appeal.
At the next court hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, it is possible that these different cases will be combined.
Iranian Christians are thankful that the appeal hearing went reasonably well and the judge appeared to be seriously examining the case. They request continued prayer that:
a. The Lord will direct the judge has he prepares for a further hearing
b. Justice will be upheld in the hearing for Shamiram and the other five defendants
and that they will be acquitted of all the charges held against them.
c. The Lord will strengthen and encourage Shamiram, Pastor Victor and all those
Iranian Christians who are falsely accused of acts against national security simply
because of their Christian faith and activities.