An Iranian convert to Christianity, sentenced last week to 15 years in jail, has written an open letter to the authorities, asking what he has done to “make you hate me this much” and declaring that he has decided to “terminate my life slowly” through a hunger strike.
Amin Afshar-Naderi was sentenced alongside three other Christians – fellow converts Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi and Hadi Asgari, and their pastor, Victor Bet-Tamraz – who each received 10-year sentences for “acting against national security by organising and conducting house-churches”. Afshar-Naderi received an additional five-year sentence for “insulting the sacred” (blasphemy).
Bet-Tamraz and Fallah-Mohammadi are out on bail, but Asgari and Afshar-Naderi remain in jail, where they have been since their arrest in August 2016 while on a picnic in the Alborz mountains north-east of Tehran.
In his letter, as reported by Mohabat News, Afshar-Naderi referenced a recent visit from foreign ambassadors to Tehran’s Evin prison, where he and Asgari are being held, and says he was “hidden” from view.