After being detained for several hours, Milad Goodarzi has been allowed to return home. Milad’s home in Karaj was raided on 11 December by four members of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence who confiscated his laptop and mobile phone and took him away for questioning. He was informed that he and his wife will be summoned to the Revolutionary Court for further questioning by the prosecutor in the coming days.
Milad had been released from Karaj Central Prison in March 2023 as part of a general amnesty granted to prisoners for the 44th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. He was serving a three-year prison sentence (reduced on appeal from five years) after being convicted in June 2021 of “engaging in propaganda against the Islamic Republic” under the newly amended Article 500 of the Penal Code.
Milad had already served a four-month prison sentence in 2020 on the same charge. The 2021 amendments to Article 500 increased the maximum prison sentence from one to five years and Milad is one of the first Christian converts known to have been penalised under the new provisions for the peaceful expression of his faith.
Family and friends of Milad are glad that he was released the same day but request ongoing prayer that:
- God will uphold Milad and his wife and give them wisdom in their responses to the authorities’ questions,
- No new charges will be brought against Milad on account of his faith and related activities,
- The Iranian authorities will cease harassing and persecuting their citizens on account of their religious beliefs.