Family and friends request prayer as a two-year prison sentence for Christian convert Ismaeil Maghrebinejad will be reviewed on 9 May.
Ismaeil (65) was arrested in Shiraz on 25 January 2019 and charged with “propaganda against the state and insulting the sacred Iranian establishment.” At a hearing on 22 October, the judge also accused Ismaeil of apostasy and increased bail demands from 10 million to 100 million tomans (US $9,000). The apostasy charge was dropped at a later hearing in November.
Following a hearing on 8 January at Branch 105 of the Civil Court in Shiraz, Ismaeil was found guilty of “insulting Islamic sacred beliefs” – he had received a joke that was disrespectful towards the ruling clerics – and sentenced to three years in prison under Article 513 of the Islamic Penal Code.
On 27 February Ismaeil appeared before the Revolutionary Court to face charges of “membership of a group hostile to the regime” (“evangelical Zionism” according to the court document). The evidence used against him was a Bible verse sent over Telegram by Christian media. Following the hearing, Ismaeil was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment under Article 499 of the Islamic Penal Code.
On 9 May the latter sentence will be reviewed by the Revolutionary Court.
Family and friends of Ismaeil request prayer that:
- Ismaeil will be strengthened and encouraged and have much peace
- The lawyer will have wisdom and present Ismaeil’s case well
- Ismaeil will be acquitted by the Revolutionary Court