An appeal hearing to review the cases of Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, his wife Shamiram Issavi Khabizeh and three Christian converts was cancelled with no reason given.
Three long standing cases were combined in a ruling by presiding judge Ahmed Zargar in February 2019, with the latest appeal scheduled for 1 June.
The first case involves Pastor Victor of the Assyrian Assemblies of God, and two Persian Christian converts, Amin Afshar Naderi and Kavian Fallah Mohammadi, who were all arrested at a December 2014 Christmas celebration. The second case also involves Amin Afshar Naderi, re-arrested in August 2016 at a picnic with another convert, Hadi Asgari. The third involves Shamiram, Pastor Victor’s wife, summoned by authorities in June 2017. Between them they are facing 55 years in prison on national security charges.
Since the decision to combine the cases, every scheduled hearing has failed to take place.
On 1 June pastor Victor and Shamiram went to Branch 36 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Tehran along with their lawyers and legal representatives for the Christian converts. After a long wait, they were informed that the hearing was cancelled. No reason was given and the lawyers were not allowed to approach the judge.
The on-going judicial proceedings, delays and postponements continue to be stressful for the defendants and their families.
Iranian Christians request prayer that:
- The cases will eventually be reviewed correctly and the heavy and unjust prison sentences overturned
- The lawyers representing the defendants will have wisdom to argue their case well
- The Lord will encourage pastor Victor, Shamiram, Amin, Kavian and Hadi through the continuing injustice