An Iranian convert to Christianity currently serving 10 years in prison for “missionary activities” is being denied access to the medical treatment he needs, according to advocacy group Article 18.
Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was first arrested in June 2016 alongside three Azerbaijanis, after security agents raided a wedding party in Tehran. The four men were sentenced a year later, but the Azerbaijanis have not been forced to return to Iran to serve their sentences.
The ruling in Gol-Tapeh’s case was based on evidence provided by the Ministry of Intelligence. However, the documents containing the evidence were not given to Gol-Tapeh’s lawyer to view, nor were they presented during the trial, according to Mohabat News.
He has asked for medical treatment several times but was denied by the authorities, according to Article 18. According to his family, he may lose all of his teeth if immediate medical treatment is not provided.
Meanwhile, another Iranian convert to Christianity, who has also suffered reported ill health, has been denied temporary release on bail, Mohabat News reports. Four UN officials recently expressed concern over Hadi Asgari’s health when his appeal hearing, and those of the three other Christians he was sentenced alongside, was postponed.
Asgari was tried in the Revolutionary Court in Tehran in July 2017 and sentenced to 10 years in prison for “action against national security through evangelism”. He was also banned from leaving the country for two years.
His family had gathered enough money to temporarily secure his release on bail for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, but their application was rejected and he remains in Evin Prison.