An Iranian Christian [UPDATE: named by implication, December 2017 as Amin Khaki] has been released from prison and told he does not need to serve a suspended sentence of a further year in jail, reports MEC.

However, three fellow Christians arrested with him in March 2014 at a picnic in Shush, western Iran, remain in prison. Hossein Barounzadeh, Mohammad Bahrami and Rahman Bahmani each have four months left of their one-year jail terms for spreading Christianity in Iran.

Meanwhile, another Iranian Christian has been beaten up by prison guards and dragged against his will to an appeals hearing, only for the hearing to then be postponed until November.

Ebrahim Firouzi, originally arrested in March 2013, was initially given a year’s jail term, followed by two months in “exile” in a remote city in the southeast of Iran, for “promoting Christian Zionism, attempting to launch a Christian website, contact with suspicious foreigners and running online church services”. He rejected the charges, saying the allegations had been fabricated by security authorities and interrogators.

He was originally due for release in January 2015, but was kept in prison and retried in March 2015 under new charges of “acting against national security, gathering and collusion”. He was sentenced to a further five years in jail and has since gone on hunger strike to protest against the conditions in prison.